Henry
Henry asked:

What's the most useful and unique insight in this book?

Bryan Rahija Here are a few things from my notes:

It's important to get 3 key processes in place:
-1 on 1s: possibly the single best way to make your organization a Good Place to Work, encourage employees to deliver important bad news, and clear obstacles to their work, these should occur very regularly
-Promotions: clarity on this front discourages political maneuvering
-Feedback: it's just really important for raising the bar

2 really good questions to ask:
-What would I do if my company went bankrupt? (This led Horowitz to conclude that he needed to spin off 80% of LoudCloud and bet the whole business on a product called Opsware, ultimately leading to a $1.6 billion acquisition by HP)
-What are we NOT doing? (Horowitz had this as an agenda item at staff meetings; once it helped surface a critical unmet need in the market)

An interesting way to structure account management for key accounts:
-Have one person in charge of delivering every last thing that the client asks for
-Have a second person in charge of worming their way in the organization and identifying hidden value -- i.e., things you could build and sell them

An insight Horowitz attributes to Andy Grove:
-Training is one of the single "highest leverage" activities that a manager do (http://www.bhorowitz.com/why_startups...)
Shakir Sharfraz Most management books are about peace-time CEOs. This book deals with the hard things the war time CEO go through. It contrasts the two types of management literature. Most of the management literature is of the former type. This book helps throwing light on the latter type.
Richard Pickett It really depends on where you are in your life and/or career/company development.

If you're not in a startup, you'll appreciate what it takes to make one work, including all the pitfalls Ben so masterfully articulates.

If you're in a startup, you'll appreciate key insights that you may be otherwise missing. Having someone else who made it the hard way tell their story, mistakes, and successes often give you views into your current situation you didn't already have.

If you're in executive management, or want to be, this book will give you a good perspective of what life is like at that level, with a number of difficult situations diagnosed with Ben's advice drawn on his personal history.

I believe categorically startups are in what Ben calls "war-time," so this book is very fitting to startups in general.

However, if you're in a "peace-time" company, some of these rules (maybe the largest part) might not apply well. Ben addresses this point in the book but doesn't distinguish each of his scenarios/rules as to how they should be addressed depending on this differentiation. However, he does indicate some of them as applying to war or peace.
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by Ben Horowitz (Goodreads Author)
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