For me, this book was everything that "Onward" (the new Starbucks book) was not. Firstly, it gives a fascinating look into what is probably the world's best example of a culture driven organization. This is a topic that fascinates me and is relevant to me professionally. But the big thing that made this different than other books written by CEO's is that it came across as truly genuine. Since reading it I have signed up to visit Zappos for a Zappos Insights 2-day boot camp and look forward to attending.
This book is a history of Zappos and a biography of Tony Shea. It covers some non-traditional methods to build a great business culture. You will learn how Tony Shea achieved his first major business success by developing and selling the company Link Exchange. This provided him with funds and skills that would be essential to help the original founder of Zappos Tony Hsieh into company with intense customer and employee loyalty. After reading this book, I took a tour of Zappos (anyone can go on the tours – highly recommended) which proved that the company is extremely different than other companies.
One of the memorable stories in this book is how Tony Hsieh got the attention of Tony Shea for business funding. At the end of a not so good voice mail message, he mentioned that the catalog business was a multi-billion dollar industry. This one statement caused Tony Shea to followup eventually leading to the starting of Zappos. If you are looking for funding, have important (and shocking) credible industry information to justify business investment. If you are starting or running a business, this book will give you some great strategies and tactics along with some good motivating stories.
The three stars don't really do it justice, but the book was a little long and I felt Tony repeated himself a lot towards the middle of the book. The subject is inspiring for all of us who have a dream of making it big and the fact that Tony keeps it real throughout makes it entertaining and easy to relate to.
While the reading aloud of emails sent out to his company was revealing, I felt it was TMI a good deal of the time. All in all an enjoyable listen, but be prepared to get mired down in the message of culture. It is important, but could have been communicated in a lot less words. Sometimes brevity is our friend.
I wish I had bought the hard copy book and just read it myself. Tony Hsieh's monotone narration put me to sleep many times. That's great when you're trying to go to sleep, but not so great when you're expecting a great read. Interesting information in the book, but like others have said before, a lot of it turns into pro-zappos propaganda at the end which gets tiring. I've heard the actual book is a great read, probably because you get to hear it in your head in your own voice, and not Tony Hsieh's. It sounds whiny right now, but just wait until you've listened to him for 30 minutes. You'll know what I mean.
This book was such a validation to me. I've never started and sold huge companies and sold them for tons of money but it sure is wonderful to see that I think along the same lines as someone who has does all that. It's hard to be an employee, know the right way to do things and see the opposite happen. It's incredibly reassuring to know that there are other people out there who believe in creativity, being a real human being at your job, speaking plainly, solving problems even if they are not your problems, caring about what your customers think of you, and having big dreams for the project you are working on, is the right way to go. It's hard when there are so many examples of people stepping on employees, treating them as interchangable cogs, delivering the least amount of work to reap the most profit, being considered "successes." Here Tony reminds us what success really is, and profit doesn't always define success. There are two kinds of workers in this world. Those that can and do, do a good job because they find it fulfilling, and those who can't or don't, and decide to make their life's work a shell game of delivering just enough and politicking enough to move their way to success. I very much fall in the first category and so do the people of Zappos. I'm glad to see this permeating throughout Zappos and as their employees move on, or train, it will spread to other corporations. As it can rot from the top, so can it grow. Tony sounds like the guy you'd want as your neighbor and I thank him very much for writing this book. Now I'm reassured that it's OK to care, and do it the right way long-term, even if at times I might feel like the odd man out.
While this book does not give you a cookie-cutter approach to building a successful company, it does show how passion and perseverance can. The idea of building and maintaining a company based upon a culture of make the customer happy is one that I hope many more big names in the retail industry take to heart. Tony reads this book as he wrote it - clearly and with his own unique point of view. I highly recommend this book!
What an unexpected journey! It was one of the most uplifting, educational and enjoyable presentations I have listened to in years ... business book or otherwise. Passionate work, company culture and happiness are shared ingredients leading to this business success.
This audio book, particularly as a non-fiction work, listened like a conversation amongst friends. Tony wove the actual voices of people involved with Zappos into the narration. You could feel the emotion in their voices between the spoken words. This was effective in many ways; one it made the listener feel as if he/she was one with the storytelling. Additionally, the team-as-family nature of the company revealed itself readily in this format.
What a rich experience. I am sure this book will be on many awards lists. Love it!
I couldn't put this audible book down! Read by Tony himself - and talk about Customer Service!!!! Makes you notice every phone call you make, every time you check out at the registers, every time you even purchase something......and every time I WORK WITH MY CLIENTS!!!! Thanks Tony - talk about a good kick in the rump to get my business back on track!!!!
I really liked this book and what made it even better was Tony himself read the book along with other Zappos employees. A great read.