Foursquare Board Member Ben Horowitz Pens Machiavellian Essay on ‘Demoting a Loyal Friend’

A luminary's perspective.

Mr. Horowitz. (Twitter)

Andreessen Horowitz cofounder Ben Horowitz sits on Foursquare’s board and serves as a close mentor to engineering lead Harry Heymann. His guest post yesterday over at AllThingsD is a how-to guide for demoting a loyal friend you’ve hired to work at your startup.

“There came a day when it was clear that I needed to hire someone with more experience to run the function I had previously entrusted to a loyal friend. Damn. How do you do that?” Mr. Horowitz writes. “As hard as it may be, you need to take a Confucian approach. You must consider first all of the other employees, and second your friend. The good of the individual must be sacrificed for the good of the whole.”

Remember the recent fallout between Foursquare’s celebrity couple cofounders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai?

Seems relevant.

And for your moment of zen, here’s Nada Surf’s hit “Popular.”

three important rules for breaking up
don’t put off breaking up when you know you want to
prolonging the situation only makes it worse
tell him honestly, simply, kindly but firmly
don’t make a big production
don’t make up an elaborate story
this will help you avoid a big tear-jerking scene
if you want to date other people, say so
be prepared for the boy to feel hurt and rejected
even if you’ve gone together for only a short time
and haven’t been too serious
there’s still a feeling of rejection when somebody says she prefers the company of others to your exclusive company
but if you’re honest and direct
and avoid making a flowery emotional speech when you break the news
the boy will respect you for your frankness
and honestly, he’ll appreciate the kind straight-forward manner in which you told him your decision
unless he’s a real jerk or a cry-baby
you’ll remain friends

Foursquare Board Member Ben Horowitz Pens Machiavellian Essay on ‘Demoting a Loyal Friend’