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What You Do Is Who You Are — anecdote and advice from the front lines of tech | Financial Times
Ben Horowitz’s book dishes up management tips gleaned from some unlikely historical figures

Richard Waters 6 HOURS AGO

What You Do Is Who You Are: How To Create Your Business Culture, by Ben Horowitz, Harper Business RRP$29.99, 288 pages
Andreessen_Horowitz  Ben_Horowitz  books  book_reviews  checklists  founders  Genghis_Khan  Great_Man_Theory_of_History  Haiti  lessons_learned  organizational_culture  Richard_Waters  Silicon_Valley  Toussaint_Louverture  vc  venture_capital 
november 2019 by jerryking
Why Andreessen Horowitz Models Itself After A Hollywood Talent Agency - Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJ
By DEBORAH GAGE
Jan 21, 2011

Andreessen Horowitz’s investors, including university endowments, foundations and funds of funds, are also betting big money on the firm’s story, Horowitz says. The firm aims to flip the venture industry on its head by acting more like a talent agency – specifically Creative Artists Agency, which became so prominent in Hollywood that it was hard to do deals without them being involved.

CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz, who served on Opsware’s board from 2000 until H-P’s acquisition in 2007, shared his secrets with the two partners, Horowitz said — even talking to Andreessen Horowitz’s employees when the firm started so that everybody could be on the same page.

Horowitz says he and Andreessen looked hard at everything Ovitz did, “and a lot of little things, we copied,” including even how Ovitz ran staff meetings.

Like CAA – and unlike more traditional venture capital firms – Andreessen Horowitz employs over 20 well-paid partners whose job is to help clients, i.e. the entrepreneurs, much in the same way CAA agents serve the talent.

Instead of book and movie and TV deals, the partners, each specialists in their fields, find engineers, designers, and product managers; the best marketing and public relations; and relationships with key customers – not just top management, but the guys who run the network and the database. They check references, and research companies and markets.

“When we were at Netscape, John Doerr introduced us to the CEO of AT&T,” Horowitz said. “That’s great, but he’s not buying a Web server. If you have no relationship at that level, it’s not as powerful, so we invest a lot in that.”...Like his firm, Horowitz believes every company should have a great story, too, because it motivates employees and helps explain the company to the outside world. “In a company, hundreds of decisions get made, but objectives and goals are thin,” he says. “I emphasize to CEOs, 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.”
Andreessen_Horowitz  Marc_Andreessen  Ben_Horowitz  creating_valuable_content  Michael_Ovitz  CAA  partnerships  insights  professional_service_firms  talent_representation  storytelling  reference-checking 
march 2017 by jerryking
This Is How We Do It: Ben Horowitz on How Software Testing Has Changed - The CIO Report - WSJ
March 12, 2015 | WSJ |By STEVE ROSENBUSH.

Two trends led to the creation of SignalFx...“It used to be that every server was sacred and if one went down, it was a catastrophe,” Mr. Horowitz said. In the era of the cloud and so-called webscale companies, that no longer should be the case, he contends. “Facebook has over one million servers. If one goes down, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how the app that is being served is performing. Is there a bottleneck or is it doing okay?”...The other big trend behind the creation of SignalFx lay in software development process. In an era of continuous deployment and updates, there’s no time to have IT identify a problem and kick it back to the engineers....“What you really need is software developers looking at how applications are doing. But you have to give developers tools to instrument their own code,” he said.

Such monitoring tools will vary from case to case. “Memory usage, response time .. any number of things may characterize an application tier, or Web tier. You have to be able to express things like that.... “In the old days, from the engineering standpoint, functionality was a huge thing. Now it is a small thing when it comes to testing. Scale and reliability are the big things, and testing has to be in real time.”
Ben_Horowitz  Andreessen_Horowitz  software_development  tools  CIOs  monitoring  SignalFx  scaling  reliability  real-time  testing  control_systems  dashboards  instrumentation_monitoring 
march 2015 by jerryking
Investor Uses Rap to Teach Pithy Business Lessons - NYTimes.com
By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER
Published: February 19, 2012

Ben Horowitz, a prominent venture capital investor here, says rap holds a trove of lessons for tech entrepreneurs. Throw business classes and books out the window, Mr. Horowitz says, and listen to rap lyrics instead.

He applies his theory on his blog, where he has attracted a following of tech readers and other executives by offering business lessons, almost all of them preceded by a rap lyric that summarizes a moral, and with recordings from Grooveshark, the music site.

In the process, he has linked two cultures in Silicon Valley, which is not exactly known for its racial or cultural diversity.
hip_hop  Silicon_Valley  Ben_Horowitz  Claire_Cain_Miller  Andreessen_Horowitz 
february 2012 by jerryking

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