The Hard Thing About Hard Things
The Hard Thing About Hard Things

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

That experience also taught me not to judge things by their surfaces. Until you make the effort to get to know someone or something, you don’t know anything. 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. (Location 142)

Former secretary of state Colin Powell says that leadership is the ability to get someone to follow you even if only out of curiosity. I was certainly curious to see what Coach Mendoza would say next. (Location 157)

Looking at the world through such different prisms helped me separate facts from perception. This ability would serve me incredibly well later when I became an entrepreneur and CEO. In particularly dire circumstances when the “facts” seemed to dictate a certain outcome, I learned to look for alternative narratives and explanations coming from radically different perspectives to inform my outlook. The simple existence of an alternate, plausible scenario is often all that’s needed to keep hope alive among a worried workforce. (Location 165)

Needs always trump wants in mergers and acquisitions. (Location 657)

If we hadn’t treated the people who were leaving fairly, the people who stayed would never have trusted me again. Only a CEO who had been through some awful, horrible, devastating circumstances would know to give that advice at that time. (Location 688)

Tangram was run by Norm Phelps, an interim CEO, which was a great sign that they’d be willing to sell the company, because most boards would much rather sell a company than roll the dice by hiring a new CEO. (Location 802)

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. The customer only knows what she thinks she wants based on her experience with the current product. The innovator can take into account everything that’s possible, but often must go against what she knows to be true. As a result, innovation requires a combination of knowledge, skill, and courage. Sometimes only the founder has the courage to ignore the data; we were running out of time, so I had to step in: (Location 869)

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. You just have to find it. It matters not whether your chances are nine in ten or one in a thousand; your task is the same. (Location 998)

Play long enough and you might get lucky. In the technology game, tomorrow looks nothing like today. If you survive long enough to see tomorrow, it may bring you the answer that seems so impossible today. (Location 1058)


Once you decide that you will have to lay people off, the time elapsed between making that decision and executing that decision should be as short as possible. If word leaks (which it will inevitably if you delay), then you will be faced with an additional set of issues. Employees will question managers and ask whether a layoff is coming. If the managers don’t know, they will look stupid. If the managers do know, they will either have to lie to their employees, contribute to the leak, or remain silent, which will create additional agitation. At Loudcloud/Opsware, we badly mismanaged this dynamic with our first round of layoffs, but sharply corrected things on the next two. (Location 1149)

Tags: lay offs

The message must be “The company failed and in order to move forward, we will have to lose some excellent people.” Admitting to the failure may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is. (Location 1160)

Training starts with a golden rule: Managers must lay off their own people. They cannot pass the task to HR or to a more sadistic peer. You cannot hire an outsourcing firm like the one in the movie Up in the Air. Every manager must lay off his own people. (Location 1167)

Once you make it clear that managers must lay off their own people, be sure to prepare them for the task: 1. They should explain briefly what happened and that it is a company rather than a personal failure. 2. They should be clear that the employee is impacted and that the decision is nonnegotiable. 3. They should be fully prepared with all of the details about the benefits and support the company plans to provide. (Location 1173)

Keep in mind what former Intuit CEO Bill Campbell told me—The message is for the people who are staying. The people who stay will care deeply about how you treat their colleagues. (Location 1182)

Me: “Stop looking for the silver bullet.” There comes a time in every company’s life where it must fight for its life. If you find yourself running when you should be fighting, you need to ask yourself, “If our company isn’t good enough to win, then do we need to exist at all?” (Location 1435)

To better prepare for the hire this time, I decided in the interim to run sales myself. I managed the team, ran the forecast calls, and was the one person responsible for the revenue number for Opsware. I’d learned the hard way that when hiring executives, one should follow Colin Powell’s instructions and hire for strength rather than lack of weakness. By running sales, I understood very clearly the strengths we needed. I made a careful list and set out to find the sales executives with the right skills and talents for Opsware. (Location 1472)

Tags: hiring

Note: Do a role before hiring for it

My old boss Jim Barksdale was fond of saying, “We take care of the people, the products, and the profits—in that order.” It’s a simple saying, but it’s deep. “Taking care of the people” is the most difficult of the three by far and if you don’t do it, the other two won’t matter. (Location 1551)

When I was director of product management at Netscape, I was feeling frustrated by how little value most product managers added to the business. Based on Andy’s guidance, I wrote a short document called “Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager (Location 1656)

Training is, quite simply, one of the highest-leverage activities a manager can perform. Consider for a moment the possibility of your putting on a series of four lectures for members of your department. Let’s count on three hours preparation for each hour of course time—twelve hours of work in total. Say that you have ten students in your class. Next year they will work a total of about twenty thousand hours for your organization. If your training efforts result in a 1 percent improvement in your subordinates’ performance, your company will gain the equivalent of two hundred hours of work as the result of the expenditure of your twelve hours. (Location 1673)

Note: Training is one of the highest leverage activities a manager can perform

Management training is the best place to start setting expectations for your management team. Do you expect them to hold regular one-on-one meetings with their employees? Do you expect them to give performance feedback? Do you expect them to train their people? Do you expect them to agree on objectives with their team? (Location 1707)

As Andy Grove writes, there are only two ways for a manager to improve the output of an employee: motivation and training. Therefore, training should be the most basic requirement for all managers in your organization. (Location 1721)

Tags: training, managing

Good product managers know the market, the product, the product line, and the competition extremely well and operate from a strong basis of knowledge and confidence. A good product manager is the CEO of the product. Good product managers take full responsibility and measure themselves in terms of the success of the product. (Location 1737)

Tags: product development, product manager

Good product managers crisply define the target, the “what” (as opposed to the “how”), and manage the delivery of the “what.” (Location 1748)

Good product managers create collateral, FAQs, presentations, and white papers that can be leveraged by salespeople, marketing people, and executives. Bad product managers complain that they spend all day answering questions for the sales force and are swamped. Good product managers anticipate the serious product flaws and build real solutions. Bad product managers put out fires all day. (Location 1751)

Tags: product manager, product development

Good product managers focus the team on revenue and customers. Bad product managers focus the team on how many features competitors are building. Good product managers define good products that can be executed with a strong effort. Bad product managers define good products that can’t be executed or let engineering build whatever they want (that is, solve the hardest problem). (Location 1758)

Good product managers err on the side of clarity. Bad product managers never even explain the obvious. Good product managers define their job and their success. Bad product managers constantly want to be told what to do. (Location 1768)

Tags: product development

Note: Always ensure you are extremely clear and that the basics are understood

Good product managers send their status reports in on time every week, because they are disciplined. Bad product managers forget to send in their status reports on time, because they don’t value discipline. (Location 1769)

Tags: product manager, product development

A good rule of thumb is my Reflexive Principle of Employee Raiding, which states, “If you would be shocked and horrified if Company X hired several of your employees, then you should not hire any of theirs.” The number of such companies should be small and may very well be zero. (Location 1814)

Tags: hiring

The most important thing to understand is that the job of a big company executive is very different from the job of a small company executive. (Location 1847)

As a result, I spent most of my time optimizing and tuning the existing business. Most of the work that I did was “incoming.” In fact, most skilled big company executives will tell you that if you have more than three new initiatives in a quarter, you are trying to do too much. As a result, big company executives tend to be interrupt-driven. (Location 1851)

In contrast, when you are a startup executive, nothing happens unless you make it happen. In the early days of a company, you have to take eight to ten new initiatives a day or the company will stand still. There is no inertia that’s putting the company in motion. Without massive input from you, the company will stay at rest. (Location 1854)

Skill set mismatch Running a large organization requires very different skills than creating and building an organization. When you run a large organization, you tend to become very good at tasks such as complex decision-making, prioritization, organizational design, process improvement, and organizational communication. When you are building an organization, there is no organization to design, there are no processes to improve, and communicating with the organization is simple. On the other hand, you have to be very adept at running a high-quality hiring process, have terrific domain expertise (you are personally responsible for quality control), know how to create process from scratch, and be extremely creative about initiating new directions and tasks. (Location 1863)

AGGRESSIVELY INTEGRATE THE CANDIDATE ONCE ON BOARD Perhaps the most critical step is integration. You should plan to spend a huge amount of time integrating any new executive. Here are some things to keep in mind: (Location 1890)

Tags: hiring

Tony Robbins says, “If you don’t know what you want, the chances that you’ll get it are extremely low.” (Location 1915)

The very best way to know what you want is to act in the role. Not just in title, but in real action. In my career, I’ve been acting VP of HR, CFO, and VP of sales. Often CEOs resist acting in functional roles, because they worry that they lack the appropriate knowledge. This worry is precisely why you should act—to get the appropriate knowledge. (Location 1934)

In order to find the right executive, you must now take the knowledge that you have gathered and translate it into a process that yields the right candidate. Here is the process that I like to use. Write down the strengths you want and the weaknesses that you are willing to tolerate. (Location 1946)

I wanted a great product that customers would love with high quality and on time—in that order. (Location 2016)

Every really good, really experienced CEO I know shares one important characteristic: They tend to opt for the hard answer to organizational issues. (Location 2102)

Sometimes an organization doesn’t need a solution; it just needs clarity. Once I made it clear that cursing was okay—so long as it wasn’t used to intimidate or harass—nobody had a problem with it anymore. (Location 2220)

What do I mean by politics? I mean people advancing their careers or agendas by means other than merit and contribution. (Location 2236)

The object lesson for your staff and the company will be that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and that the most politically astute employees get the raises. Get ready for a whole lot of squeaky wheels. (Location 2252)

Certain activities attract political behavior. These activities include:   Performance evaluation and compensation   Organizational design and territory   Promotions (Location 2280)

One challenge is the Peter Principle. Coined by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book of that name, the Peter Principle holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their “level of incompetence”), and there they remain being unable to earn further promotions. (Location 2421)

Another challenge is a phenomenon that I call the Law of Crappy People. The Law of Crappy People states: For any title level in a large organization, the talent on that level will eventually converge to the crappiest person with the title. (Location 2426)

The rationale behind the law is that the other employees in the company with lower titles will naturally benchmark themselves against the crappiest person at the next level. For example, if Jasper is the worst vice president in the company, then all of the directors will benchmark themselves against Jasper and demand promotions as soon as they reach his low level of competency. As with the Peter Principle, the best that you can do is to mitigate the Law of Crappy People and that mitigation will be critically important to the quality of your company. (Location 2428)

Tags: career

The best way to mitigate both the Peter Principle and the Law of Crappy People is with a properly constructed and highly disciplined promotion process. Ideally, the promotion process should yield a result similar to the very best karate dojos. In top dojos, in order to achieve the next level (for example, being promoted from a brown belt to a black belt), you must defeat an opponent in combat at that level. This guarantees that a new black belt is never a worse fighter than the worst current black belt. (Location 2434)

Phil Jackson, the coach who has won the most NBA championships, was once asked about his famously flaky superstar Dennis Rodman, “Since Dennis Rodman is allowed to miss practice, does this mean other star players like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen can miss practice, too?” Jackson replied, “Of course not. There is only room for one Dennis Rodman on this team. In fact, you really can only have a very few Dennis Rodmans in society as a whole; otherwise, we would degenerate into anarchy.” (Location 2537)

Let’s go back to the first part of the question. Why hire a senior person? The short answer is time. As a technology startup, from the day you start until your last breath, you will be in a furious race against time. No technology startup has a long shelf life. Even the best ideas become terrible ideas after a certain age. How would Facebook go if Zuckerberg started it last week? At Netscape, we went public when we were fifteen months old. Had we started six months later, we would have been late to a market with thirty-seven other browser companies. Even if nobody beats you to the punch, no matter how beautiful your dream most employees will lose faith after the first five or six years of not achieving it. (Location 2552)

Tags: hiring

Hiring someone who has already done what you are trying to do can radically speed up your time to success. (Location 2557)

The proper reason to hire a senior person is to acquire knowledge and experience in a specific area. (Location 2562)

In hiring someone to sell your product to large enterprises, the opposite is true. Knowing how your target customers think and operate, knowing their cultural tendencies, understanding how to recruit and measure the right people in the right regions of the world to maximize your sales—these things turn out to be far more (Location 2570)

valuable than knowing your own company’s product and culture. (Location 2572)

This is why when the head of engineering gets promoted from within, she often succeeds. When the head of sales gets promoted from within, she almost always fails. Asking yourself, “Do I value internal or external knowledge more for this position?” will help you determine whether to go for experience or youth. (Location 2572)

Note: The importance of internal or external knowledge in a role should be considered when promoting staff

One excellent way to develop a high standard is to interview people who you see doing a great job in their field. Find out what their standard is and add it to your own. Once you determine a high yet achievable performance bar, hold your executive to that high standard even if you have no idea how they might achieve (Location 2603)

Perhaps the CEO’s most important operational responsibility is designing and implementing the communication architecture for her company. The architecture might include the organizational design, meetings, processes, email, yammer, and even one-on-one meetings with managers and employees. Absent a well-designed communication architecture, information and ideas will stagnate, and your company will degenerate into a bad place to work. While it is quite possible to design a great communication architecture without one-on-one meetings, in most cases one-on-ones provide an excellent mechanism for information and ideas to flow up the organization and should be part of your design. (Location 2629)

Generally, people who think one-on-one meetings are a bad idea have been victims of poorly designed ones. The key to a good one-on-one meeting is the understanding that it is the employee’s meeting rather than the manager’s meeting. This is the free-form meeting for all the pressing issues, brilliant ideas, and chronic frustrations that do not fit neatly into status reports, email, and other less personal and intimate mechanisms. (Location 2634)

While it’s not the manager’s job to set the agenda or do the talking, the manager should try to draw the key issues out of the employee. The more introverted the employee, the more important this becomes. If you manage engineers, drawing out issues will be an important skill to master. (Location 2645)

Some questions that I’ve found to be very effective in one-on-ones:   If we could improve in any way, how would we do it?   What’s the number-one problem with our organization? Why?   What’s not fun about working here?   Who is really kicking ass in the company? Whom do you admire?   If you were me, what changes would you make?   What don’t you like about the product?   What’s the biggest opportunity that we’re missing out on?   What are we not doing that we should be doing?   Are you happy working here? (Location 2648)

Let’s start with the second question first. The primary thing that any technology startup must do is build a product that’s at least ten times better at doing something than the current prevailing way of doing that thing. Two or three times better will not be good enough to get people to switch to the new thing fast enough or in large enough volume to matter. The second thing that any technology startup must do is to take the market. If it’s possible to do something ten times better, it’s also possible that you won’t be the only company to figure that out. Therefore, you must take the market before somebody else does. Very few products are ten times better than the competition’s, so unseating the new incumbent is much more difficult than unseating the old one. If you fail to do both of those things, your culture won’t matter one bit. The world is full of bankrupt companies (Location 2668)

Desks made out of doors Very early on, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, envisioned a company that made money by delivering value to rather than extracting value from its customers. In (Location 2705)

Ten dollars per minute When we started Andreessen Horowitz, Marc and I wanted the firm to treat entrepreneurs with great respect. We remembered how psychologically brutal the process of building a company was. (Location 2713)

Tags: late

Note: Pay a fee for every minute you are late

We wanted the firm to respect the fact that in the bacon-and-egg breakfast of a startup, we were with the chicken and the entrepreneur was the pig: We were involved, but she was committed. (Location 2715)

When an organization grows in size, things that were previously easy become difficult. Specifically, the following things that cause no trouble when you are small become big challenges as you grow:   Communication   Common knowledge   Decision making (Location 2760)

Your goal is to choose the least of all evils. Think of the organizational design as the communications architecture for your company. If you want people to communicate, the best way to accomplish that is to make them report to the same manager. (Location 2800)

Much has been written about process design, so I won’t repeat that here. I have found the “The Basics of Production,” the first chapter of Andy Grove’s High Output Management, to be particularly helpful. For new companies, here are a few things to keep in mind:   Focus on the output first. What should the process produce? In the case of the interview process, an outstanding employee. If that’s the goal, what’s the process to get there? (Location 2843)

Hiring scalable execs too early is a bad mistake. There is no such thing as a great executive. There is only a great executive for a specific company at a specific point in time. (Location 2877)

Tags: hiring

Note: You need to hire different types of people at different times

By far the most difficult skill I learned as CEO was the ability to manage my own psychology. Organizational design, process design, metrics, hiring, and firing were all relatively straightforward skills to master compared with keeping my mind in check. I thought I was tough going into it, but I wasn’t tough. I was soft. (Location 2956)

Tags: ceo

Focus on the road, not the wall. When someone learns to drive a race car, one of the first lessons taught is that when you are going around a curve at 200 mph, do not focus on the wall; focus on the road. If you focus on the wall, you will drive right into it. If you focus on the road, you will follow the road. Running a company is like that. There are always a thousand things that can go wrong and sink the ship. If you focus too much on them, you will drive yourself nuts and likely crash your company. Focus on where you are going rather than on what you hope to avoid. (Location 3053)

“I tell my kids, what is the difference between a hero and a coward? What is the difference between being yellow and being brave? No difference. Only what you do. They both feel the same. They both fear dying and getting hurt. The man who is yellow refuses to face up to what he’s got to face. The hero is more disciplined and he fights those feelings off and he does what he has to do. But they both feel the same, the hero and the coward. People who watch you judge you on what you do, not how you feel.” —CUS D’AMATO, LEGENDARY BOXING TRAINER (Location 3068)

When my partners and I meet with entrepreneurs, the two key characteristics that we look for are brilliance and courage. In my experience as CEO, I found that the most important decisions tested my courage far more than my intelligence. (Location 3073)

Jim Collins, in his bestselling book Good to Great, demonstrates through massive research and comprehensive analysis that when it comes to CEO succession, internal candidates dramatically outperform external candidates. The core reason is knowledge. Knowledge of technology, prior decisions, culture, personnel, and more tends to be far more difficult to acquire than the skills required to manage a larger organization. (Location 3147)

So what makes people want to follow a leader? We look for three key traits:   The ability to articulate the vision   The right kind of ambition   The ability to achieve the vision (Location 3215)

Truly great leaders create an environment where the employees feel that the CEO cares more about the employees than she cares about herself. (Location 3234)

Tags: ceo

In his classic book Only the Paranoid Survive, Grove tells how he led Intel through the dramatic transition from the memory business to the microprocessor business. (Location 3251)

Peacetime in business means those times when a company has a large advantage over the competition in its core market, and its market is growing. In times of peace, the company can focus on expanding the market and reinforcing the company’s strengths. (Location 3289)

In wartime, a company is fending off an imminent existential threat. Such a threat can come from a wide range of sources, including competition, dramatic macroeconomic change, market change, supply chain change, and so forth. The great wartime CEO Andy Grove marvelously describes the forces that can take a company from peacetime to wartime in his book Only the Paranoid Survive. (Location 3291)

In peacetime, leaders must maximize and broaden the current opportunity. As a result, peacetime leaders employ techniques to encourage broad-based creativity and contribution across a diverse set of possible objectives. In wartime, by contrast, the company typically has a single bullet in the chamber and must, at all costs, hit the target. The company’s survival in wartime depends upon strict adherence and alignment to the mission. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the (Location 3304)

Be aware that management books tend to be written by management consultants who study successful companies during their times of peace. As a result, the resulting books describe the methods of peacetime CEOs. In fact, other than the books written by Andy Grove, I don’t know of any management books that teach you how to manage in wartime like Steve Jobs or Andy Grove. (Location 3342)

direction. By describing how I evaluate CEOs, I am at the same time describing what I think the job of the CEO is. Here are the key questions we ask: 1. Does the CEO know what to do? 2. Can the CEO get the company to do what she knows? 3. Did the CEO achieve the desired results against an appropriate set of objectives? (Location 3441)

Strategy In good companies, the story and the strategy are the same thing. As a result, the proper output of all the strategic work is the story.   Decision making At the detailed level, the output of knowing what to do is the speed and quality of the CEO’s decisions. (Location 3451)

Decision making Some employees make products, some make sales; the CEO makes decisions. Therefore, a CEO can most accurately be measured by the speed and quality of those decisions. Great decisions come from CEOs who display an elite mixture of intelligence, logic, and courage. (Location 3476)

already noted, courage is particularly important, because every decision that a CEO makes is based on incomplete information. At the time of any given decision, the CEO will generally have less than 10 percent of the information typically present in the post hoc Harvard Business School case study. (Location 3479)

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR RESULTS This is where things get complicated. If someone fails to deliver the result she promised, as in the opening story, must you hold her accountable? Should you hold her accountable? The answer is that it depends. It depends upon:   Seniority of the employee You should expect experienced people to be able to forecast their results more accurately than junior people.   Degree of difficulty Some things are just plain hard. Making your sales number when your product is inferior to the competition and a recession hits midquarter is hard. Building a platform that automatically and efficiently takes serial programs and parallelizes them, so that they can scale out, is hard. It’s hard to make a good prediction and hard to meet that prediction. When deciding the consequence of missing a result, you must take into account the degree of difficulty.   Amount of stupid risk While you don’t want to punish people for taking good risks, not all risks are good. While there is no reward without risk, there is certainly risk with little or no chance of corresponding reward. (Location 3667)

In the technology business, you rarely know everything up front. The difference between being mediocre and magical is often the difference between letting people take creative risk and holding them too tightly accountable. Accountability is important, but it’s not the only thing that’s important. (Location 3693)

It is possible to take the standard setting too far. As I discussed in the section “The Scale Anticipation Fallacy,” it’s neither necessary nor a good idea to evaluate an executive based on what her job will be two years from now. You can cross that bridge when you come to it. Evaluate her on how she performs right here and right now. (Location 3746)

When I used to review executives, I would tell them, “You are doing a great job at your current job, but the plan says that we will have twice as many employees next year as we have right now. Therefore, you will have a new and very different job and I will have to reevaluate you on the basis of that job. If it makes you feel better, that rule goes for everyone on the team, including me.” (Location 3752)

TYPES OF ACQUISITIONS For the purpose of this discussion, it is useful to think about technology acquisitions in three categories: 1. Talent and/or technology, when a company is acquired purely for its technology and/or its people. These kinds of deals typically range between $5 million and $50 million. 2. Product, when a company is acquired for its product, but not its business. The acquirer plans to sell the product roughly as it is, but will do so primarily with its own sales and marketing capability. These kinds of deals typically range between $25 million and $250 million. 3. Business, when a company is acquired for its actual business (revenue and earnings). The acquirer values the entire operation (product, sales, and marketing), not just the people, technology, or products. These deals are typically valued (at least in part) by their financial metrics and can be extremely large (such as Microsoft’s $30 billion–plus offer for Yahoo). (Location 3768)

When analyzing whether you should sell your company, a good basic rule of thumb is if (a) you are very early on in a very large market and (b) you have a good chance of being number one in that market, then you should remain stand-alone. The reason is that nobody will be able to afford to pay what you are worth, because nobody can give you that much forward credit. (Location 3781)

If the company achieves product-market fit in a very large market and has an excellent chance to be number one, then the company will likely remain independent. If not, it will likely be sold. This is one good method to describe the interests of the investors in a way that’s not at odds with the interests of the employees, and it is true. (Location 3849)

The comment knocked the wind out of me. Our largest investor had basically called me a fake CEO in front of my team. I asked, “What do you mean?”—hoping he would revise his statement and enable me to save face. Instead he pressed on: “Someone who has designed a large organization, someone who knows great senior executives and brings prebuilt customer relationships, someone who knows what they are doing.” (Location 3875)

We identified two key deficits that a founder CEO had when compared with a professional CEO: 1. The CEO skill set Managing executives, organizational design, running sales organizations and the like were all important skills that technical founders lacked. 2. The CEO network Professional CEOs knew lots of executives, potential customers and partners, people in the press, investors, and other important business connections. Technical founders, on the other hand, knew some good engineers and how to program. (Location 3911)

As we applied it to venture capital, we decided to build the following networks:   Large companies Every new company needs to either sell something to or partner with a larger company.   Executives If you succeed, at some point you need to hire executives.   Engineers In the technology business, you can never know enough great engineers.   Press and analysts We have a saying around the firm: Show it, sell it; hide it, keep it.   Investors and acquirers Being venture capitalists, providing access to money was obvious. (Location 3948)

As CEO, I had to worry about what everybody else thought. In particular, I could not show weakness in public. It would not have been fair to the employees, the executives, or the public company shareholders. Unrelenting confidence was necessary. (Location 4007)

When I work with entrepreneurs today, this is the main thing that I try to convey. Embrace your weirdness, your background, your instinct. (Location 4026)