Tony Hsieh is a really nice guy. This is what makes him a very unusual CEO, which is what makes his company so interesting. It also makes him a writer who doesn't use much corporate lingo, and a terrifically casual reader of his own book on the growth and development of Zappos, his unique company. One part memoir, one part philosophy, one part corporate handbook, and all silly optimism, Delivering Happiness will appeal to a surprisingly wide audience.
Hsieh begins with his business history, which adequately conveys his wackiness. First, there was the worm farm in elementary school. All the worms escaped, and he lost money. Then there was the mail order button business in middle school, so successful that he passed it along to his younger brothers in succession. In high school, he learned a bunch about programming, thereby combining his instincts with an appropriate knowledge base. He laughs out loud at his own computer club lunchtime antics, and so will you. Then there was the pizza business in his dorm at Harvard, where Hsieh found innovative ways not to attend any classes, and a high-paying corporate gig after graduation where he once again did as little as possible.
This is a man who likes to take business risks, and as he explains how he made decisions that caused him to grow from slacker into a Red Bull-pounding, 24-hour working machine, you'll be amazed that it sounds like he's smiling the entire time. From his first major start-up, which was subsequently sold to Microsoft, to his repeated close calls where Zappos almost went under before it was eventually bought out by Amazon, this true story of one man's corporate odyssey will leave you believing that anything really is possible. It will also at least make you want to shop at Zappos, if it doesn't make you want to move to as Vegas to work there.
Shot through with brief guest-narrations using the actual participants relevant to Hsieh's fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, there are a wealth of memos, emails, and testimonials that all serve as evidence to his weird intellect. And if you played a drinking game where you drank a shot every time Hsieh mentions having a drink, you'd be drunk before the book is half finished. From the tone of his voice to the story he tells, this is clearly a guy who needs his work to be fun and challenging. Just as Zappos has done, Hsieh's book casually fires the opening volley in a new era of corporate culture and management.
This eye-opening treatise on how to be happy at work has the added bonus of an hour-long conversation between Tony Hsieh and Warren Bennis, who has been universally considered one of the most significant leadership gurus for the past 40 years. Much of what Hsieh says is a more concise version of what he says in the book, though insights from the aging but still hilariously astute Bennis do offer something extra exciting. They discuss happiness in a way that is useful to all people, not just corporations. Megan Volpert
In this, his first audiobook, Tony Hsieh - the widely admired CEO of Zappos, the online shoe retailer - explains how he created a unique culture and commitment to service that aims to improve the lives of employees, customers, vendors, and backers. Using anecdotes and stories from his own life experiences, and from other companies, Hsieh provides concrete ways that companies can achieve unprecedented success. Even better, he shows how creating happiness and record results go hand-in-hand.
He starts with the "Why" in a section where he narrates his quest to understand the science of happiness. Then he runs through the ten Zappos "Core Values" - such as "Deliver WOW through Service", "Create Fun and A Little Weirdness", and "Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit" - and explains how you and your colleagues should come up with your own.
Hsieh then details many of the unique practices at Zappos that have made it the success it is today, such as their philosphy of allocating marketing money into the customer experience, thereby allowing repeat customers and word-of-mouth be their true form of marketing. He also explains why Zappos's number-one priority is company culture and his belief that once you get the culture right, everything else - great customer service, long-term branding - will happen on its own.
Finally, Delivering Happiness explains how Zappos employees actually apply the Core Values to improving their lives outside of work - and to making a difference in their communities and the world.
©2010 Tony Hsieh (P)2010 Hachette
Not only is Tony Hsieh an excellent narrator, he is an incredible, very forward thinking person. If all CEO's of corporations thought like him, the world would be a much better place to live in. This is a must read...er, listen for anyone in business.
Energizing, motivating, inspiring
Great story to tell and told in a way that is very entertaining and easy to listen to. This is a book I will listen to again. It delivered on it title....It deliverd much happiness to me!
Really nice book to read. Tony Hsieh offers interesting commentary on the story of Zappos that provides insight into the importance of customer service and how to deliver it. This book may not be the best book in the customer service category, but it is the most personal and interesting. Tony tells real stories from his time at Link Exchange and Zappos and uses them to both entertain and teach.
When I started this book, I felt kind of listening to immature book with some story of financial success. But after I passed through an hour this material has become a fire. I am a small business owner, but it really revealed the potential of the possibilities by "Taking care of your customers and employees". If you are looking to amaze your customers and your team by giving the best you can offer? Then this book is for you. This book is not offering any techniques or tactics to close a sale or something like that. But this is a culture, spirit you might want to achieve or grow towards.
Tony Hsieh! You have done a public service.
Fun book--I like the story behind Tony as he grows up and builds some businesses. I think anyone with an entreupeneurial mindset, or one who likes stories about real people doing big things, will like this. I did, and I don't even shop at Zappos.
Because of this book, I decided to read the Steve Jobs book, but I like the Zappos book more so far.
I liked the candor of the author. Honest, feet on the grownd, funny and inspiring.
I liked that it is real life. I liked the message of spreadong happiness. I liked how he brings down happiness to three basic ideas. And it is all preception.
My favorite scene is the interview at the end. His answers so consistent with all the book. So truthfull, not like "Rich Dad, Poor dad".
I laughed a lot several times.
Next time in Vegas, I'll vist Zappos before any casino!
Wow! Out of about 80 audiobooks I've listened too, Delivering Happiness was my favorite. Tony Hsieh's story was great, his message on happiness was great, and the Zappos story was also great. The audio was well-narrated by the author himself, which is always a plus. Also, the audiobook was unique in that, the other players in the Zappos story were acutally narrating their own stories, rather than a generic narrator. Loved every minute, especially the conclusion interview. I wish it never ended!
Rule 1: DO NOT LET THE AUTHOR NARRATE THE BOOK! He was horrible and I couldn't stand Robin and Fred and all the others who narrated this book.
Rule 2: NO ONE cares about the cutesy worm or button stories!
This could have been a great book, Tony has led an interesting life. I would have preferred more time spent on LinkExchange and less on the worms or the other childhood stories!
Every entrepreneur should read this book! I had the opportunity to visit Zappos in Las Vegas (which I highly recommend) and the book is exactly what the emplyee had told us there. Great inspiration to show how a company culture is important and with tips to how to build your own culture.
Business consultant specializing in Infusionsoft marketing automation setup for educators and Advertising Sales Rep for Rotating Mass Media
I hope to take a tour of the Zappos headquarters the next time I visit Las Vegas! I'd love to learn, see, watch the business in action!
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