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20 Things you Didn't Know about Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz was born in June 13, 1966 and has accomplished many things in his life. He's a verified author, blogger, investor, and business man. He and his friend Andreesen started a venture capital firm called Andreesen Horowitz and both of them are the co-founders. Ben has recently done this before as he co-founded an enterprise company named Opsware that worked with software. He served as the chief executive officer as well as the president until Hewlett-Packard bought it in 2007. While there are many things about Ben Horowitz that have went public, there are some things that aren't that well known about him. Here is a list of 20 things you didn't know about Ben Horowitz.

1. He Made A Startup Book

One of Ben Horowitz's works that slipped under the radar is one of his books on business startups. He called it "The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building A Business When There Are No Easy Answers". He goes on in the book about how he was going against the competition for years, the bad press from people who had a vendetta against him, and customers that were slipping away from him.

2. Ben's From Where The Big Ben Is

Ben's parents, Elissa Krauthamer and David Howrowitz, had Ben when they were in London. He was brought over from England and raised in Berkeley, California. Even though his parents were from England and immigrated to America, his great-grandparents were Jews who stayed in the Russian empire. It wasn't until the mid 1900's or early 2000's that they came to the United States.

3. Took Two Separate Colleges

Many know Ben to have graduated from UCLA but he's actually an alumni of two different colleges. Ben Horowitz first went to college at the Columbia University in 1988 to earn his BA in Computer Science. He then transferred to UCLA in 1990 and continued on to turning his Computer Science degree to a MS. He was considering attending different colleges but decided on staying in California to get his education. Like all of his other friends, he didn't want to leave his family and friends behind and had to stay back to help them out.

4. He First Started As An Engineer

At the start of his career Ben worked as an engineer for Silicon Graphics in 1990. It was there that he gained enough experience to move on and work for other companies. It was his wife Felicia Wiley Horowitz who persuaded him into working for Silicon Graphics. They married each other in 1998 and were having difficulty deciding on what to do to take their relationship to the next level. Ben started working as an engineer to provide enough for his wife and future three kids.

5. Netscape Changed His Life

It was in 1995 when Ben Horowitz took a job as a project manager at Netscape. That's where he met Marc Andreessen who is his company partner in the future. It he didn't take on that job at Netscape then he wouldn't have met his co-founder or built his companies that he has now. He worked as a project manager for two years until he was promoted to the Directory and Security Product Line where he was the vice president. AOL bought out Netscape a year later but still kept Ben to be a their Vice President of the eCommerce Division.

6. Loudcloud Funded His Company

Along with his friend Andreessen, Sik Rhee, and Tim Howes, Ben started Loudcloud in September of 1999. Loudcloud hosted applications and infrastructure services to big organizations such as The US Army, Nike, Ford Motor Company, Gannett Company, and more. He then transformed Loudcloud into Opsware in June of 2002 keeping only the core aspects of the company. He sold everything else for $63.5 million dollars in cash which he used to fund his new business plans.

7. He's Worth Over A Billion Dollars

Once Ben Horowitz turned Loudcloud into Opsware it was nothing but up from there. He sold the Opsware services to over 550 customers allowing him to reach over $100 million dollars a year. All of the money he was making made a few business moghuls notice him and what he was doing. That's when Ben sold Opsware to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion dollars in cash. He still stayed and worked at Hewlett-Packard as the vice president for $2.8 billion dollars a year.

8. He's On Plenty Of Business Boards

Not only does Ben run his own company but he takes part in other people's businesses as well. He has an extensive portfolio filled with reputable brand names across the country. The multiple business boards he's a part of are the Usermind, United Masters, TripActions, Tanium, Sisu, Okta, Nation Builder, Medium, Magnet Systems, Lyft, Genius, Foursquare, Databricks, and Caffeine. It took a lot of time making relationships and reaching a magnitude just so that other businesses would work with him.

9. The Building He Took A Chance On Paid Off

When Ben was working with Loudcloud his company was growing faster than he knew what to do with it. The fire marshall from his city had to come and tell him that if he didn't get enough space for all of his workers then they would have to shut his operation down. He told his controller that he needed a new building, which he called The Maude Building. It was just around the corner on Maude Avenue and costed him $30 million dollars to purchase. He's now made enough money to pay for the building in full and still have some left over.

10. Charity Goes A Long Way

A lot of people who are rich wouldn't even think about giving their money away. This isn't the case when it comes to Ben Horowitz. He's recently released a book called What You Do Is Who You Are where all of the money will go to anti-recidivism. This means that people who get out of jail will have a better chance of staying out of jail. Not only that but the other part of the earnings will be going to people in Haiti who are in need.

11. He Helps Run A Business Blog

On his free time Ben likes to browse the internet and learn about new developments in technology. Not only does he like to read about it but he loves writing about it. Him and a few other business entrepreneurs such as Shaka Senghor, Chris Bennett, and others go through different aspects in business and goes through tips to help new people out.

12. He Has A Podcast

With his love for technology there's no way that Ben Horowitz would go without making a podcast. His Podcast Hustlin Tech goes through all of the tech things that it takes to run a successful business. His co-host Shaka Senghor and himself want to show people that if you have a desire and hustel then you can get whatever you want. The show mixes news with interviews as they invite famous guests to take part on the show. Ben goes through the tech interviews while Shaka hosts all of the interviews with people who have been incarcerated.

13. Inspired By Being Poor

Ben Horowitz used to have two friends back in college named Ariel Cohen and Iian Twig. All of them spent their lives in poor and broken down places. Each of them remember having to deal with run down roads and how much it cost just to take a trip somewhere. This inspired all of them to go to college and deal with anything it takes to make their lives better. They now use their careers to make better systems for their work place and society.

14. Wants To Speak Multiple Languages

In one of the interviews he had with one of his now workers, Ben had asked what made her different than the other people he was interviewing. She had told him that she took down agents that have gone bad on the Silk Road online scandal. She stopped people from laundering thousands of dollars through a cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. During the interview she mentioned that she spoke Arabic, Italian, French on top of English. Ben told her that he was impressed and that he has always wanted to learn more than one language.

15. Ben Horowitz Loves Hip Hop Music

With one of his new funds that he opened up he plans to invest in brands that want to work with cultural leaders. This allows leaders to connect to various companies to make deals or plans. Some of the leaders that Ben Horowitz have chosen to work with have been noted to be famous rappers. The rappers that Ben works with include Sean P Diddy, Chance The Rapper, Will Smith, Nasir Jones, Jada Smith, Robin Washington, John Thompsonand more. All of the funds are said to be for African Americans to be able to learn and work with technology.

16. Hiring Real Help

Ben Horowitz has been known to be a very kind person. In 2007, him and his friend Marc were having trouble understanding mordern ways to sell people products. That's when he stumbled upon a blog by Andrew Chen that blew his mind. Ben was so impressed that he called Andrew up to have lunch with him. During the lunc Andrew told him about one of the business ideas that he had. Ben quickly called his friend Marc and they both jumped on the opportunity to work with Andrew.

17. He Takes Things Well

Ben has expressed many times how excited he was to work with Lars. On one of his blog posts he told everyone how sad he was that Lars was leaving his company to start his own firm. Following the statement about being sad he followed it up with how happy he was to have Lars on the team. Ben said that he was grateful and excited to working with Lars again in the future.

18. Ben Believes In Sports Players

When it comes to staying sharp and on top of things, Ben Horowitz loves to keeping an active mind.He pulls inspiration from whatever makes him feel something. What some people don't know is that Ben is a basketball fan. He's been found quoting one of his favorite players Charles Barkley multiple times. Ben will watch interviews with players after the game where the host will ask them questions about victory and what was going through their head. He's found the fundamental key to leadership as well as other gems from watching professional basket ball players.

19. He Believes In Equality

A lot of people hide their racism and are scared to talk when the subject is brought up. Ben isn't scared because he doesn't have anything to hide. He's been loud and proud to say how much he loves Asian, Hispanic, Black, and other races. You can find just about any ethnicity if you look at his workers and they can all tell you that they've been treated fairly. Ben also makes it a priority to pay his workers the highest rates that he can, no matter what skin color you have.

20. Holds Truth Over Everything

Ben Horowitz believes that every CEO should an honest person. He understands that it's a hard thing to do and believes that it makes a business better overall. Ben has made three core rules surrounding the concept of honesty and the truth. He says that you should say all statements honestly and clearly, explain how a situation occurred if it was a bad one, and explain how the action will lead you to a more important mission. While other Business owners may not make rules over something so simple, that's what makes Ben Horowitz different.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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