What You Do Is Who You Are

How do you create a culture that weathers both the good times and the bad? In his new book, Ben Horowitz—cofounder and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Hard Thing About Hard Things—combines lessons from history and modern organizational practice to help executives build and sustain the cultures they want.

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Check out Ben's first book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things. Learn More »

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The leader's guide to creating your business culture

In Ben Horowitz’s second book, What You Do Is Who You Are, the entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, addresses a question crucial to every organization: How do you create and sustain the culture you want?
To Horowitz, culture is how a company makes decisions, and he explains how to make your culture purposeful by examining four intriguing models of leadership and culture-building well outside the usual business case studies: Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture, who was the leader of the only successful slave revolt in history; the Samurai, who ruled Japan for seven hundred years and shaped modern Japanese culture; Genghis Khan, who built the world’s largest empire; and Shaka Senghor, an American ex-con who created the most formidable prison gang in the yard and ultimately transformed prison culture.
What You Do Is Who You Are takes readers on a journey through culture, from ancient to modern. Along the way, it aims to help readers do what they need to do to become the kind of leader they want to be—and others want to follow—and answers a question fundamental to any organization: Who are we?
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Praise for The Hard Thing About Hard Things

His book takes readers through Mr. Horowitz’s own fascinating career, while sharing examples and dispensing advice drawn from the careers of others ... The honesty is both refreshing and compelling, and readers will enjoy being taken through challenge after challenge alongside Mr. Horowitz.

New York Times

With a candid, even profanity-laced style that quotes everyone from Silicon Valley legend Bill Campbell to hip-hop star Nas, Horowitz writes about what it takes to manage people and lead organizations today ... Even the most seasoned managers will appreciate Horowitz’s discussion of the emotional toll of high-power jobs and what he calls the CEO psychological meltdown.

The Washington Post

Horowitz tends to dispense management advice in a kind of one-two punch. First comes the self-deprecating quip about mismanagement and misery, delivered with a knowing grin and capped with a two-beat chuckle. But soon the smile will vanish, and he’ll turn dead serious. His brow will furrow slightly, his eyes will widen and focus with an intensity that borders on scary, and he’ll speak slowly, deliberately. It’s almost as if you can’t afford not to listen.


There is more than enough substance in Mr. Horowitz’s impressive tome to turn it into a leadership classic.

The Economist

This isn’t your traditional, how-to founder advice. He tackles the real problems and challenges entrepreneurs face ... But where Horowitz separates himself is in his advice around how to control your own psychology and demons as a CEO and founder. These are real problems that every CEO and leader faces, as sometimes they are their own worst enemy ... My bet is that Horowitz’s book becomes gospel for startups. His stories already have.


The most valuable book on startup management, hands down.


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About the Author

Ben Horowitz is a cofounder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, and the upcoming Harper Business book, What You Do Is Who You Are, available October 29, 2019. He also created the a16z Cultural Leadership Fund to connect the greatest cultural leaders to the best new technology companies, and enable more young African Americans to enter the technology industry.

Prior to a16z, Ben was cofounder and CEO of Opsware ...

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