Book Review – The Hard Thing About Hard Things

A16Z’s Ben Horowitz published an excellent book earlier this year on the many issues a CEO/founder runs into when building a business and sprinkles in a lot of anecdotes and tidbits he learned along the way as a successful CEO and founder himself.  Check the book out here!

Name: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answershard things

Overview: This book dives into many aspects of Ben’s career and life and how he was able to navigate the exceedingly difficult path that is creating and growing a successful company.  Along the way he details his trials and tribulations with Opsware/Loudcloud, his enterprise software company he ended up selling to HP, some advice on how to hire, fire, and retain talent, and our favorite part, a mention of his good product manager/bad product manager mantra!

Invest, Invest with Participating Liquidation Preferences, or Pass: Invest!

Investment Thesis: Much like Venture Deals is for aspiring VC’s/Founders who want to learn term sheets, The Hard Things is an absolute MUST READ for anyone who aspires to be a CEO or successfully manage a business one day. It is an in-your-face and to-the-point book that provides great advice and context for anyone who is looking to head down the startup/CEO pathway.


Round of the Week – SpoonRocket


Is “On-Demand Delivery Dining” the food equivalent of the Mobile Payments battle of 2014?  We seem to be seeing a lot of companies (we see you Sprig, Plated, Blue Apron, GrubHubMunchery…) in the space raising rounds recently, and SpoonRocket is no exception.  They recently raised an $11M A round to further their mission of creating the “Most Convenient Meal Ever”.

Name: SpoonRocket


Funding to Date: $13.5M ($2.5M Seed, $11M A)

Deal Notables: With all the movement in the space recently, we wonder how everything will shake out.  It appears there are a few avenues that these companies can travel down (ready to eat: SpoonRocket, cook yourself: Blue Apron, standard delivery of existing restaurants: GrubHub).  We like the fact SpoonRocket claims and $8 fee and under 10 minute delivery in the ready to eat category, but are very interested in finding out what the proper logistical balance is to keep supply and demand in check with the pricing/delivery parameter when they eventually scale the business to greater/more disperse locations.