Startups and Nomads @ BYOB Party in October 2019 (Part 6)

Abhaya spoke about The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz. The book is primarily targeted at CEOs. “It’s a polarizing read,” Abhaya said. “Just go take a peek at Goodreads. Horowitz has a tendency to idolize Silicon Valley and his love for rap music could be jarring for some readers. But he believes in telling like it is as a CEO should. If you do not share information, you are isolating yourself from solutions. Also your credibility increases if you are honest with the people who have been hired to help your business.

“In the over-advised world of startups, Ben manages to address some things no one else would address. And those things that come only from someone who has been in the trenches. Your key customer disappearing in a snap, right before you are about to make a big move, finding cracks in your accounting right before a deal, have the external world explode just when things were beginning to look good. If you stick around long enough, the question is not if these things will happen. Question is when.

I do not agree with everything he says… but I would suggest that every startup founder to read this. This is not a template on how to run your startup and you do not have to make the same choices but it will give you a taste of battles that lie ahead or remind you of those that you have yourself fought.”

You can read Abhaya’s Goodreads’ review here.

Another book Abhaya talked about was The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad a book that throws light on the nomadic people who live in the FATA area. Abhaya enjoyed reading the vignette style short stories that shared a story arc.

Quote from his Goodreads review: ” The author spent large part of his life as a civil servant in the FATA area and seems well acquainted with the area, the tribes, the history. The writing shows his love for the people but there is also a certain detachment. He describes both good and horrific as a neutral observer, never taking a judgmental tone, letting your own reactions and emotions to color the bleak landscape he is describing.

The stories show various facets of life in these areas. We get to see the disruption caused to nomadic lifestyle by the firming up of national borders, the strict tribal codes of behavior, interplay between the government machinery and age-old tribal culture and the status of women in the society.”

More books in Part 7.