VC Ben Horowitz on Creating Company “Culture”

Ben Horowitz, the co-founder of the venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, has a new book titled “What You Do Is Who You Are,” which takes a look at how to create “culture” at a company

It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot but that’s very hard to grasp, let alone implement in a sustainable way. Horowitz learned firsthand as a CEO how elusive it can be when he took stock of his company, only to discover it was made up of “screamers who intimidated their people,” others who “neglected to give any feedback” and at least one compulsive liar who excelled at sucking up to Horowitz and also making up stories from whole cloth.

TC: You’ve written a book about culture that’s coming out just as a lot of questions are being raised about culture because of WeWork. What happened there?

BH: [Co-founder Adam Neumann] had a certain kind of culture there. He had some holes — some great strengths and great holes. And sometimes that happens. When you’re really good at part of it, you can delude yourself into thinking that you’ve got everything you need when you have some massive incompleteness.

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