Quoted: Ben Horowitz on hiring rich people

“I had a terrible time hiring rich people. It sounds funny but the problem is when things go wrong they can ask, ‘Why am I doing this?’ You don’t ever want anybody asking that question. You want them to say, ‘I know why I’m doing it, I need the money, let’s go.’ ”

Ben Horowitz, talking to Quartz about what he looks for when hiring. The co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has written a book called “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” which is about Opsware, the software company formerly known as LoudCloud, which he and Marc Andreessen co-founded and eventually sold to Hewlett-Packard.

The Associated Press notes that the presumably now-wealthy and blunt VC “wasn’t raised to be a wealthy capitalist”; his father was an editor of a liberal magazine, and his grandfather was a member of the Communist party. (Horowitz is donating all proceeds from the book to the American Jewish World Service.)

Another notable thing Horowitz said recently as he makes the rounds in promoting his book: He says the cultural change that has brought celebrity status to some in the tech industry has changed entrepreneurship. “There was never any question in the old days about what your priorities were. You had to build a company and there was nothing else to it. Now there is this other kind of interesting concept which can be confusing and distracting,” Horowitz told the New York Times’ Bits blog.


Photo:  Ben Horowitz at the annual Allen & Co. media and tech summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2011. (Associated Press archives)


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  • Mark Harder

    And yet it’s very, very difficult to find a job if you’re unemployed. Why? There must be nobody more eager to work than an unemployed worker seeking a job. Yet, that situation is considered a strong negative by HR people. It never made sense to me. Now I learn that the wealthy are considered employment liabilities. Just who is eligible for employment?