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
Business owner, optimist, father of two. Want to make the world a better place and a dent in the universe.
I read (and listen to) many business and entrepreneurial (audio)books out of necessity to improve and build my own business and myself in this new economic climate. Sometimes, in between a large amount of mediocre to pretty good books, there is a real gem. And this is what “Delivering Happiness” is.
If I would ever be interested in a job and would be living in USA I would definitely apply to work for Zappos. And I haven’t even heard of Zappos before stumbling upon “Delivering Happiness”. This is how powerful the ideas in this book and charismatic the man [Tony Hsieh] is.
P.S: For anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship I would also recommend is “The Midas Touch”, which was just published in 2011.
The best part about this audio book is that Tony Hsieh, the person who owns the subject of the book is also its narrator. It is delivered in his own tongue, which makes the message more personal.
Although not a key focus of the book, the demonstration of persistence through adversity is an underlying element to the message of success through inovation and adherence to common principles and goals.
This is the only Tony Hsieh audio book I have listened to.
I think this would make a very interesting movie. Good story line and the fact that his first fortune vanished and he recovered in an even larger way truly promotes his never say die attitude. Tony refers to the book From Good to Great in his book. I would say Tony's tag line could be from Great to Greater.
I recoomend this as an entyertaining and inspirational listen.
I love learning thru books, about life, people and ways to be better. My best listen so far? The Power of Now, have a good listen!
I decided to read Delivering Happiness after reading something that made me do a strategic chart for my small internet business. On my goals, I found myself writing that my employees happiness would be on my top two priorities, since this book was on my lift for some time, I tough I had to read it if I wanted to make that come true.
This book has literally wowed me. I learned a lot about delivering happiness to employees, but I learned another perspective that I have never tough about, delivering happiness to costumers.
This book is a great read, its funny, interesting but most of all has a fresh take on the corporate view in life, a way to make a difference thru work and sales
it will be one of my top advices on business books!
Inspiring, educational, fun.
4 Hour Work Week, Seth Godin books, and Good to Great as they all emphasize a radically different approach to business than the traditional methodologies of the last few decades.
Tony telling of his childhood and starting his first mail order button business.
He tells a story about himself, but it takes a long time to get to those tidbits of how profits, passion and purpose are executed. Mainly, it takes about why. IF you are a fan of Hsieh, then you will love the whole book. Me, not so much.
Culture book and Core values
To build a brand, start with culture
after listening to this , i bought every manager in our company a copy of this book
Yes, very interesting story with lots of good tidbits along the way.
Rather than character I'll pick a favorite quote:
Yes, though I listen at 2x speed so narration is always a little off.
Definitely laughed in parts. Very entertaining book.
Comparison of best practices for poker with best practices when running a business was very interesting.
This was a great book about the importance of a strong company culture and customer service. The book also shared multiple experiences relating to Tony's start-ups and had many entrepreneurial takeaways. I enjoyed listening to the actual author of the book tell the stories and thought Tony did a great job narrating. It felt like I was having a conversation with Tony, not just listening to a book.
I was disappointed after reading mostly positive reviews on this book.
The first section of the book was interesting as the author discusses some interesting and entertaining stories from his past. His story about the beginning of Zappos is good and had me engaged until he begins to discuss the evolution of the company and its
I always like the author to read their story as it is far more personal.
Yes -- the first half of the book.
I am a User Experience Designer located in Hyderabad, India
1. Initial chapters are a little boring. But later chapters like his career and how he builds Zappos is very interesting. Overall enjoyed the story.
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