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43 Incredible Ben Horowitz Quotes

Ben Horowitz is an American businessman, blogger, and author. Co-founder and general partner of a venture capital firm, Horowitz wrote a book and was the Co-Founder of Opsware, later acquired by HP for $1.6 billion in cash. Here is a look at some of the most notable Ben Horowitz quotes ever recorded.

“A CEO needs great intelligence and great courage. And I always found my courage was tested more.”

“As a startup CEO, I slept like a baby. I woke up every 2 hours and cried.”

“Billionaires prefer Black women. They are loyal and guard your interests. Black wives are for grown ups.”

“Breakthrough ideas usually come from guys who look like they’re hallucinating.”

“Business ends up being very dynamic and situational.”

“Early in my career as an engineer, I’d learned that all decisions were objective until the first line of code was written. After that, all decisions were emotional.”

“Every time you make the hard, correct decision you become a bit more courageous, and every time you make the easy, wrong decision you become a bit more cowardly.”

“Generally the reason they fail in the job is, you made some mistake in the hiring process in that you didn’t match… them to the needs of your company accurately enough.”

“Groupon looked like a very high valuation, but any investment in a great company at any stage is almost always a good investment.”

“Hire sales people who are really smart problem solvers, but lack courage, hunger and competitiveness, and your company will go out of business.”

“I believe in strength over lack of weakness.”

“I don’t believe in statistics. I believe in calculus.”

“I emphasize to C.E.O.s, you have to have a story in the minds of the employees. It’s hard to memorize objectives, but it’s easy to remember a story.”

“I think theres a lot to be said about just enjoying your work. It can be very contrived when people say their work is for the good of mankind.”

“In a company, hundreds of decisions get made, but objectives and goals are thin.”

“In all the difficult decisions that I made through the course of running Loudcloud and Opsware, I never once felt brave. In fact, I often felt scared to death.”

“In life, everybody faces choices between doing what’s popular, easy, and wrong vs. doing what’s lonely, difficult, and right.”

“In my experience as CEO, I found that the most important decisions tested my courage far more than my intelligence.”

“It turns out that is exactly what product strategy is all about—figuring out the right product is the innovator’s job, not the customer’s job.”

“It’s pretty clear that [customers] know what their budgets are now, and what they want to spend it on.”

“It’s quite possible for an executive to hit her goal for the quarter by ignoring the future.”

“Nothing motivates a great employee more than a mission that’s so important that it supersedes everyone’s personal ambition.”

“Over the last ten years, technological advances have dramatically lowered the financial bar for starting a new company, but the courage bar for building a great company remains as high as it has ever been.”

“Startup CEOs should not play the odds. When you are building a company, you must believe there is an answer and you cannot pay attention to your odds of finding it.”

“The bigger you get, the harder this gets because the more aggressive the people working for you are.”

“The important thing about mobile is, everybody has a computer in their pocket. The implications of so many people connected to the Internet all the time from the standpoint of education is incredible.”

“The most important thing you can learn as CEO- one of the hardest things to do is, you have to discipline yourself to see your company… through the eyes of the people that you’re working through.”

“The one thing with stress is, you’ve got to keep your focus on what you can do, not what happened to you.”

“The only thing that prepares you to run a company is running a company.”

“The person they’re working with, is going to be the person they’ll know more. So if that person leaves, they’re going to go – well, should have I left too? What did they get and how does that compare to my deal.”

“The right answer on raises is you have to be formal. You have to be formal to save your own culture.”

“The right thing to do is to thank them for their work, let people know that they’re moving on, and … you don’t really have to explain all their personal details.”

“There are no shortcuts to knowledge, especially knowledge gained from personal experience. Following conventional wisdom and relying on shortcuts can be worse than knowing nothing at all.”

“There is no silver bullet. There are always options and the options have consequences.”

“Until you make the effort to get to know someone or something, you don’t know anything.”

“When I was CEO, and I’d listen to music, a lot of people listen to music and you get inspiration from it.”

“When you’re making a critical decision, you have to understand how it’s going to be interpreted from all points of view.”

“Yeah, I became a successful entrepreneur… Eventually.”

“You can take somebody’s job, you have to take their job, but you don’t have to take their dignity.”

“You don’t need every investor to believe that you can succeed. You only need one.”

“You know what the difference between a vision and a hallucination is? They call it a vision when other people can see it.”

“Your employees know each other better than they know you.”

“You’re better off being The Beatles than The Monkees, as a startup…”

Here is one part to a lecture series by Ben Horowitz as the cofounder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz/A16Z.

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