By my reckoning, Ben Horowitz is the most thought-provoking blogger on leadership and strategy today. He’s also a lot more than a blogger. As one of the two name partners at Andreessen Horowitz, he is one of the most influential venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. As the cofounder and longtime CEO of Opsware, a software company that was sold to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion, he’s got a great track record as a hands-on executive. And as one of the earliest product managers at Netscape, he was present at the creation of first the dotcom boom.
No wonder that when Ben Horowitz writes what he thinks—about leadership, strategy, or innovation—people like me pay attention. Well, ten days or so ago, he wrote something that struck me as particularly insightful. He distinguished between business leaders who excel during periods of “peace”–times when the economy is growing, companies are innovating, and new ideas are blooming–and periods of “war”–when opportunities are shrinking, and flawless execution trumps open-minded creativity.
I riffed on Ben’s distinction for HBR. Here’s my take–join the debate!