Build a Good Place to Work

Every time I need to introspect about the management aspects of my work, I browse through Ben Horowitz's blog or his book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things.

His clarity of thought when it comes to management is unsurpassed. Invariably, I'll find a piece or two that gives me the clarity I'm looking for.

Notes from

1/ Being a good company (or team) is an end in itself, regardless of the outcome of the business.

2/ A good organization offers security in the knowledge if you do your job well, it will benefit the company and, in turn, you. Good management is creating that security.

3/ Related, good organizations provide a clarity of purpose. Telling your team what to do isn't enough — good management is about making them understand the why.

4/ Things will go wrong. When they do, being a good place to work where people like their jobs will make all the difference in tiding through such times.

I firmly believe the adage — "culture eats strategy for breakfast". This post is about one of the ways to create a good culture.


In good organizations, people can focus on their work and have confidence that if they get their work done, good things will happen for both the company and them personally.


In a poor organization, on the other hand, people spend much of their time fighting organizational boundaries, infighting and broken processes. They are not even clear on what their jobs are, so there is no way to know if they are getting the job done or not. In the miracle case that they work ridiculous hours and get the job done, they have no idea what it means for the company or their careers.


  1. Being a good company doesn’t matter when things go well, but it can be the difference between life and death when things go wrong.

  2. Things always go wrong.


When things go poorly, all the reasons to work at a growing company become reasons to leave. In fact, the only thing that keeps an employee at a company when things go horribly wrong is that she likes her job.