Found in 13 comments on Hacker News
pkaler · 2021-08-10 · Original thread
It depends. The main lever is where you will find a great mentor. Here are a few points you should think about:

1) Sponsorship/Mentorship. Will your current manager or another manager in the company champion your transition to a manager? Becoming a manager requires a lot of mentorship and coaching. Does HR at your company provide support? Is there a Senior Manager or Director that will mentor you?

2) Levelling. Does your company have a career ladder? Are there Staff Engineer levels? Have you reached this level as an IC? I personally would not sponsor an IC to become a manager if they haven't reached the Staff level. Staff Engineer is a sideways promotion to Manager. Senior Staff Engineer is sideways to Senior Manager.

3) Switching Companies. You should apply for a Staff Engineer position at a new company. During the interview process make it clear that you want to transition to a manager. During the negotiation phase, build a 6 month transition plan with the hiring manager.

4) Read. Read a lot. You should read all of the canonical management books.

just_myles · 2018-12-12 · Original thread
"The hard thing about hard things: Building a business when there are no easy answers." by Ben Horowitz.

Great book that goes into great detail on the highs and lows of starting a business and how to run it. Pretty much cemented the idea that I will never start a business.

Link below:

adventured · 2018-03-15 · Original thread
Ben Horowitz wrote a decent book about the endless difficulties of start-ups and business in general [1]. It's not so much strictly failure-learn focused (eg learning from the results of a failed start-up), as it is challenge-overcome focused (eg working your way through the never ending beating that is doing a start-up).


chollida1 · 2016-07-29 · Original thread
> Self driving cars are coming fast. It’s largely a solved problem.

Something about the Ninety-ninety rule seems appropriate here:

I think self driving cars are much closer to 10 years out than the "today" that the author asserts, but I think everyone agree's that we've reached the point where they are coming no matter what.

To give the author credit I went into reading this thinking he was absurd but he does make a good point, some of the points I think are over sold, like planned obsolescence but I think his thesis is sound.

One point I'll make on Uber's behalf......

Two of my all time favorite books are:

This history of Go computing.

and Ben Horowitz The hard thing about hard things.

Both do a very good job of bringing the reader into the chaotic environment that occurs when startups are in trouble and both have a very similar message. When startups get in trouble having very powerful investors and mentors can make a huge difference.

Uber has some very influential backers. See:

If/When times get tough, they have people who have a vested interest in seeing them succeed. People who can get them talking to the correct people at the car manufacturers to convince them to use Uber's platform over an internally created one.

If self driving laws drag on many years before they are settled then Uber may be fucked in the end but there isn't any reason why they can't be a cash printing machine over the next 10- 20 years while self driving cars replace humans.

As to car companies cutting out uber, there is this.....

mrbird · 2016-06-03 · Original thread
Contrary to what many people think, few of us have managers who can consistently and successfully lay out the optimal career path and help us achieve it. I'd say there are three main reasons:

1. It's really hard to do.

2. Few people have themselves been trained on management.

3. Faced with 1 and 2, people focus on their own, more familiar personal deliverables.

Therefore, if you want things to change, you'll probably have to make some specific suggestions. And to do that, you should do some homework. I highly recommend starting with Managing Humans by Michael Lopp ( or maybe The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz ( Spend an hour or two with each book and you'll have a better idea what can be done, and why.

What you're finding is that working as both a full-time manager and full-time engineer is very difficult, borderline impossible. Eventually, you'll have to choose. An increasing number of small companies are starting to understand this reality, and allow their top people to grow into either technical leadership or management leadership roles. Expecting both, simultaneously, is not realistic.

sgdread · 2016-03-29 · Original thread
I really liked Ben Horowitz's "The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers" [1]

The book is not focused on failures, but it's full of really good advices on what to do when a company is moving into disaster.


pramodliv1 · 2015-10-11 · Original thread
I'm not an entrepreneur, but I have worked at 2 startups (less than 20 employees) since 2011.

This is going to sound cliched, but the best way is to start your own company or project from scratch and apply the concepts you learn from these resources.

Here are some "bestsellers", apart from and PG's essays are

Building Product/Design


* Design Sprints by Google Ventures:

* Startup School Office Hours:

* Interface Design for Startups

* The Design of Everyday Things:

* Don't make me Think:

* Objectified:


* Either Rework or Getting Real by 37 Signals

Execution/Business Models:


1. The Lean Startup:

2. Lean Analytics:

3. Business Model Generation:



* How to Win Friends and Influence People

* The Hard Thing about Hard Things:

* The Startup of You:



* Build an audience before you launch the product - like 37Signals, Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, Hubspot

* Traction Book:

* Be Creative - Each startup is different. There's no silver bullet



The sales course by Steli Efti:



Dave McClure:

Founder Interviews, stories:


* PandoMonthly:

* Stanford ECorner:

csabia · 2015-01-15 · Original thread
You can find analysis and hints on this and other similar situations in the last book from Ben Horowitz "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" I'm reading it now. There are a lot of interesting insights about how startup Companies scaling works.
Peroni · 2014-12-01 · Original thread
Ben Horowitz's book 'The Hard Thing About Hard Things' is a bit of a goldmine for someone in your shoes:
joaorico · 2014-06-27 · Original thread
>>"I also recall somebody (pg?) saying something to the effect of "the most important thing in founding a startup is managing your own emotional state". "

Horowitz in "the hard thing about hard things" has a chapter called "the most difficult CEO skill". Starts with:

"By far the most difficult skill I learned as CEO was the ability to manage my own psychology."

callmeed · 2014-06-02 · Original thread
BTW, this is actually laid out in more detail in his book (this chapter is near the end). I just read it and it's quite good.

fenguin · 2014-03-28 · Original thread
I've met (and quickly distanced myself from) many people here in the Valley who prioritize short-term/short-sighted goals over long-term relationships. Even if you're not yet part of a tight-knit community here, word travels fast, especially on Secret. Screwing someone over can have long-term repercussions, and the last thing you'd want is for something as trivial as a single employee ruining a strong relationship for life.

Plus, friendships can often lead to far greater payoffs in the long-term -- I've given and received many introductions to stellar employees among my circle of friends; having a reputation as a robber is the fastest way to stop this flow of introductions.

OT: Ben has a lot of really great material on his blog, and I'd highly recommend anyone who hasn't yet to read through everything! He also has a great book that compiles all his wisdom into one place [1]; if you're too busy to read it I've shared my notes on Evernote [2].



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