Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

by Tony Hsieh


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Delivering Happiness 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 183 reviews.
BusinessBookFanatic More than 1 year ago
I heart Zappos. I get all my shoes there and do believe 100% in their ability to deliver customer service and get me my shoes in 2 days or less every time. As someone who works in the business world, I didn't unfortunately heart this book. I cringed when I read that he chose not to hire talented people when the company started to grow because that would change the company's culture. I think that means if you didn't pass the famed culture test, you were too smart to work at Zappos. (Congratulations to anyone working there for being less than the best!) Also, if you somehow slipped through the cracks, you were soon gone for being "arrogant". Geez, I think Jones had the same recruitment strategies for Jonestown. As a family type, I also was appalled by the focus on drinking, partying all night and generally being proud of failing to grow up. Sure that works great for the under 30 crowd but what does a guy with a family do when he doesn't get to come home to his family 5 nights a week because he needs to entertain Tony and the rest of the team at the frat house (aka headquarters)? My HR instincts, of which I thought I had none, were screaming "help" through every antidote about finding other people just like himself and his original team to keep the culture from changing. The good news is that at least Zappos won't be involved in an illegal alien scandal. They don't hire people different from themselves. At the end of the day, I expected this book to help me think outside the box. It did do that. On the other hand, I didn't walk away thinking Tony was a particularly insightful business mind. This is no Harvard Business Review article or book. You can get the same information reading all the carefully crafted PR he has done as the face of the company for the past decade.
Jaybaer More than 1 year ago
Yes, nice guys can finish first. This is the overarching theme of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh's new book Delivering Happiness, a Path to Passion, Profits, and Purpose. Delivering Happiness chronicles the rise of Zappos from a half-baked notion to multi-billion dollar pinnacle of high touch customer service. The book is presented in three sections. In the first section, Hsieh recounts his personal story, including his early childhood and nascent entrepreneurial adventures, including a misguided effort at worm farming. The details of his somewhat haphazard education at Harvard, and his kismet kissed co-founding of LinkExchange (ultimately sold to Microsoft for $265 million) are downright fascinating. As befits the CEO of a company built on a wide-open corporate culture, Hsieh is remarkably candid about his successes, failures, and fortunes throughout, and this first section is the strongest in the book. He writes in a breezy, accessible, invigorating style that makes Delivering Happiness the rare business book that is also a genuine page turner. As a long-time Zappos customer, and admirer of Hsieh and his customer-first mantra, I thought I had a handle on this tale. But, I was shocked by the number of times that Zappos narrowly averted ruin in its early days. Hsieh and his co-founders' went to truly extraordinary lengths to keep the company alive, including housing employees in their homes. Each harrowing near death of Zappos makes you cheer that much louder inside when the company eventually succeeds on a grand scale. The middle section of the book is devoted to Zappos' legendary corporate culture, especially its 10 core values. While interesting as a concept, the inclusion of employee stories to accompany each of the 10 core values unfortunately slows the momentum built in the book's first third. The third section of the book covers Zappos' sale to (for $1.2 billion), and the founding of the Zappos Insights program (where companies can receive training on Zappos' customer and culture-centric methods). The word-for-word reprinting of Hsieh's emails to employees regarding the Amazon acquisition are priceless. The book concludes with a few pages about the science of happiness, and how personal and business happiness can be inextricably linked. Hsieh acknowledges that the study of happiness is a personal hobby, and while his passion for the subject is apparent, a clear theme or call to action is largely absent. And ultimately, that's the challenge with Delivering Happiness. In parts, it's one of the best business books I've ever read, but most of those are the elements that are driven by a narrative and timeline. And in truth, an entire book devoted to Hsieh and the history of Zappos would have been a terrific read. And, a book devoted solely to Zappos' philosophies and core values would also have been a terrific read. But instead, we have a little bit of each, and unfortunately, 1 + 1 does not equal 3 in this circumstance. It doesn't really feel to me like one book, but rather like parts of three books fused together. I finished Delivering Happiness wanting more. A lot more. A playbook. A mission. A mantra. Reading Delivering Happiness will convince you that there is a better way, that success and happiness aren't mutually exclusive, and that Tony Hsieh is a special person. Did Delivering Happiness rock me to my core? No. But the stories and nuggets of insight make it well worth the purchase price
thinker30 More than 1 year ago
This is a compelling book. The author and CEO of Zappos puts the Kano Model of wowing the customer to best use. He is certainly customer centric in his approach and serves as a role model for aspiring CEO's. I recommend reading this book along with two others. The first, Optimal ThinkingH How to Be Your Best Self by Dr. Rosalene Glickman is the definitive book for personal and organizational optimization. The second, Good to Great by Jim Collins is a superbly researched book and how companies distinguish themselves from the mainstream Read all three books and you will have it all.
mcbarden More than 1 year ago
Tony Hsieh handed me an advance reading copy of his book a couple months back after I'd interviewed him for our work on The Challenger Project (for a video clip of that go here He's a really interesting character, but not in the usual sense. He's a very rare species, in fact: a quiet, thoughtful, low ego-emissions CEO with a remarkable track record, who's even a little weird (a self-confessed 7 on a 10-point scale of weirdness). And all of this is evident in his book, every word of which he wrote himself. The book is broken into 3 parts: 1) Profits; 2) Profits and Passion; 3) Profits, Passion & Purpose. This loosely describes the arc of his story so far: Tony the boy and young man on his way to running Zappos, the Zappos phenomenon itself, and finally how Tony wishes to apply what he has learned to create something of a cultural revolution spreading happiness. There is a lot in here to satisfy those who want to decode Zappos' success. And along the way there are also revealing surprises that for me made this a more engaging read, each surprise a small clue as to what makes Tony such a success: How his obsession with comics lead him to deceive his parents with pre-recorded piano practice; his stint with the Guardian Angels under the code name "Secret"; his obsession with poker; his addiction to Red Bull; his embrace of counter-intuitive marathon training techniques; his time as rave impresario, and his "awakening" at just such an event. How many CEOs can credit real business insight to a techno induced epiphany? That insight? The idea than true Happiness requires us to get lost in something bigger than ourselves. Here Tony leans hard on psychologists like Csikszentmihalyi's Flow and business writers like Chip Conley's Peak, itself a re-working of Maslow. He's well-read. And the book ends with Tony's own happiness framework, which is as straightforward as it is well informed. If you want a short cut through the happiness/positive psychology literature, start here. Zappos success is built on an almost irrational obsession with Wow-ing customers at any cost, and their loyalty scores and repeat purchase numbers are off the charts. Tony is quite clear that if Wow remains his priority, profit will take care of itself. For all the "new-agey" vibe of the positive psychology in the book, this is an almost old-fashioned idea: people love great customer service and will reward you with their loyalty if you provide it (even through a recession!). It says a lot about the world today that the dedication to this simple idea seems almost radical.
DivaAS More than 1 year ago
not as interesting as i thought it would be. i wished id gotten the sample first. too bad you cant get a refund of at least half your money :-(
AndrewLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an inspiring book for how business should be run. Brand, Culture, and Pipeline. Making happiness a the priority when it comes to its people and their customers is out of the normal, but that goes to show how far we are from where we should be. Zappos is a place where a paycheck and purpose come together. It was a very satisfying read and an encouraging one for entrepreneurs who want to build something of their own. Yes, you should read it. However, I felt the book wasn't heavily focused on providing practical insights so I won't be reading it again any time soon. But what an amazing story.
kevin_Z on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Delivering Happiness mainly tells us a story about how to build and develop a company like Zappos from zero sales to a hugely successful online service company while delivering happiness to customs and employees.He said there were a lot of mistakes made and a lot of lessons learned along the way.As an entrepreneur, Tony Hsieh was so lucky that he'd sold LinkExchange to Microsoft. But running Zappos needs more than luck, being the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh learns to create the company culture, and recruits the suitable employees in order to make their company from good to great.I would like to recommend you reading this amazing and interesting book.
GShuk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book going through the history of Zappos and showing a successful business can be run a different way. Unlike other business books that put the owner on a pedestal this one keeps it real. What amazed me was the huge risk he took to make Zappos happen. While he should not read other books his voice added a level of authenticity and depth to this one.
co_coyote on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a business book, which normally would find its way onto my reading list about as often as any book in the teenage romance genre. But my son, an avid reader himself, and someone who spurned science to find his passion along the business path (Oh, my goodness!), recommended this one to me. I generally make an attempt to read books my children are interested in, first to learn a little more about them, and second so I have something to talk to them about. (I am awaiting the definitive book on Peyton Manning and/or the FIFA scandal so I have something to talk to my other sons about.)This was actually a pretty good book. Tony Hsieh is probably a better CEO than he is a writer, but he did OK in this attempt. He tells, essentially, the story of Zappos and what this company is all about. I really don't know if Hsieh's goal was to sell shoes, but I have to admit I bought a pair after reading this book. And, more importantly, I have been giving some thought to just what my purpose is in life. All in all, a pretty good result from reading a book!
Lish0513 More than 1 year ago
I am a University of Baltimore student enrolled in the survey Entrepreneurship course and this was your recommended reading. Tony Hsieh perfectly illustrated his entrepreneurial journey to success in a very captivating and engaging way. From a very young age Tony was always looking for business ventures to make money, although his parents were more interested in him going to med school or obtaining a PhD. From unsuccessful ventures like selling is self published new paper, selling Christmas cards in August to more successful businesses venture like his button making business and the Quincy House Grill at his college, he wanted to run his own business. After months of working at Oracle he decided to quit and start their own web design business. Loving the idea of owing their own business and not being passionate about web design led to the creation of LinkExchange. Tony, not driven by profit alone sold the company and walked away when he was not excited about the business and the culture of the office. Pursing other opportunities led to Tony co-founding Zappos. The book details the ups and downs (Tony almost going broke) to what eventually led to Zappo’ success and its “marriage” to Amazon. I liked the transparency of the book and the dose of reality Tony serves up as he takes us through his journey. The book is perfect for entrepreneurs; it shows hard work needed to be successful. It is a must read and I would recommend this book to anyone!
litpixie More than 1 year ago
I bought the book to get another idea of customer service, since my best experience was working for Disney and getting their guest training. It was a slow book for me to get into. Until roughly the last half of the book, when Hsieh focuses on Zappos' growth and the mistakes they made at the beginning and especially the last 1/3 when the focus went to the company culture and the core principles of Zappos I was ready to toss the book. Hsieh talks about collecting experiences, but I think most people who read this book are like me and they want to know more about Zappos and how it has managed to be one of the 100 best companies to work for. I didn't really care about name dropping or the trips and really wish I could have skipped those sections. Read the last two sections, you will learn a lot. I just wish there had been more editing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, is an inspiring book of Tony Hsieh life. Through out the book he tells his journey into becoming an entrepreneur. From opening a worm farm to creating a major business Link Exchange, Hsieh was always inspired to create new business ventures. After the success of Link Exchange he soon begin to invest in other business, which lead to becoming the CEO of This book is part memoir, half entrepreneurship book. I liked this book because it is an easy read. Hsieh tells the story of his life and all the things he learned at that time, so I could be relatable to many different people at different stages of life. “Envision, create, and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you.” (Hsieh) I would recommend this book to anyone who aspires to create a business. It outlines all the important things you need within a start up, and teaches you how to create a unique business culture of your own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the most interesting business books that I have read....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tony is so personable in this book and i love that he did not hire a ghost writer for this book; the authenticity is clear. A great book for anyone looking to build a positive culture in their business or personal career. Highly recommend for those who are looking to know more about the Zappos culture!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, lot´s of insight, fun to read, practical, highly recommended… and yes they WOW you.. I just experienced it with a with a recent purchase which I got delivered in two days although I selected standard shipping.
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MeganHurley More than 1 year ago
It was an okay read. It was interesting to read about zappos in the autobiographical style. It talked about how culture is important in a work environment and that customer happiness also plays a key role. Not really my type of read, though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very inspiring and such an easy read! The author, Tony Hsieh, writes the book with a laid back and friendly tone that makes the reader want to continue to read. Inspiring and really informative. One of the best books I have ever read. Would recommend to everyone!
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