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Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose | [Tony Hsieh]

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

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 its 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Saud United States 05-08-13
    Saud United States 05-08-13 Member Since 2007

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Made me happy"
    If you could sum up Delivering Happiness in three words, what would they be?

    Success after failure


    What did you like best about this story?

    The presentation of the issues faced and the candid opinions makes this book a worthy study in how to succeed.


    What does Tony Hsieh bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    As a person who actually went through the experiences, you can hear the emotion in his voice at some parts.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is best taken in chapter by chapter.


    Any additional comments?

    For any aspiring entrepreneur who wants to build his own startup, this should be required reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 01-21-12
    Tim United States 01-21-12 Member Since 2010

    Not a mainstream reader.

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    "Surprisingly Good, an New Era to be Successful"

    I've always wanted to read this book ever since it got published in 2010, but I kept putting it off. I should had read this a lot sooner. If you are looking for another "Accidental Billionaires (Facebook)", "Delivering Happiness" is not for you. This book will never be a screenplay for the big screen, because it's more about philosophy, than sex, drugs, and tunes.

    Delivering Happiness is not so much a business book so to say, but it's a cultural movement how business should run in this new Internet era. Many old school's companies tries to deliver happiness, base on their margin profit and their employees and customers comes second, and the Internet is another marketing scheme. With Tony Hsieh and his Zappos' team, they are becoming the new Nordstrom, where service and their employees always comes first.

    I wished that all companies would take notice of Zappos' ways of doing business, but they won't because most companies are run by the elites and don't understand the new culture of customer service to be successful in the next era.

    The first half of this book was very interesting, to see how Tony Hsieh got started and how he buildup Zappos, but the story faded toward the end, by having numinous praises among Zappos' staffs, trying to please the boss.

    I just wished that we would had heard more from their customers.

    Good content, nevertheless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allan Mexico City, Mexico 11-22-11
    Allan Mexico City, Mexico 11-22-11
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    "Great ideas and entertaining"

    It was an entertaining book to listen to on the road, great ideas about culture in companies, customer service, experience and capacity building. Will start to apply ideas in my company.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn BEAUMONT, TX, United States 06-22-11
    Lynn BEAUMONT, TX, United States 06-22-11 Member Since 2005
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    "A Fun Read"

    Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, provides a most interesting memoir and biography of the company in Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. The book falls into three sections . In the first Hsieh relates stories about himself as a young entrepreneur and how he came to become involved in Zappos. The second section outlines the development of Zappos and its values. The last section actually, sorta, presents Hsieh’s philosophy of management. It is really Hsieh’s free flowing expression of who he is, how he got here, what Zappos is, and his philosophy. A particularly revealing section, for me, appears when Hsieh tells how Zappos because a part of Amazon. He shares details which are particularly interesting. His, albeit brief, introduction to the literature on happiness is stimulating as well. The book is a hoot, provides all sorts of perspective on business, management, and customer service. Along the way the reader gets a taste for what it is like to be an entrepreneur in general and to bring an organization like Zappos to life. It is delightful and fun. Delivering Happiness is more of a conversation with Hsieh than a book per se. Portions of the book are read by others which is a benefit of the Audible edition. For example, when Zappos merged with Amazon, Jeff Bezos produced an 8 minute video for Zappos employees. The audio is included in the Audible edition. Different voices are used to represent portions of the text as well. Otherwise, Hsieh reads the text himself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Grosse Ile, MI, United States 01-28-11
    John Grosse Ile, MI, United States 01-28-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Honest, True, Humble and Real"

    I can assure you that if you're in search of something that will help you put things together this is a real gem! Anyway, I usually don't care to share my opinion but I felt compelled to do it on this one. The principals that Tony and his crew talk about in this book are true, humble and real. These things remove greed and insert the most important things that should count. Now I know why I want to share my feelings on this book. I want you to find your happiness! Oh and by the way, if you’re in leadership you owe it to yourself and your associate counting on you to collect the data! Because you don't know what you don't know!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scott mitcham, Australia 12-21-10
    scott mitcham, Australia 12-21-10 Member Since 2010
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    "great book definately worth a read"

    good book worth a listen a great insight into a modern company and the . com era

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will United States 12-06-10
    Will United States 12-06-10 Member Since 2007
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    "great book about building a successful culture"

    i enjoyed hearing Tony's story of entrepreneurship and how he ultimately focused on a true differentiation of culture that delivered great service, but the operative word is culture. Knowing what their purpose is and what their values are. I appreciate the insights Tony shared.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    stephanie GARDEN CITY, ID, United States 10-13-10
    stephanie GARDEN CITY, ID, United States 10-13-10
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    "HAPPINESS DELIVERED!"

    I try to live my live as pure and honest as I can. About 16 yrs ago, I was tagged with the name 'stephanoopieville' because all things are wonderful in the "world" I have created for me. Sure I don't have lots of money, but I am successful at raising my family, I have good neighbors, my kids know what is important in life: honesty, love, enjoy and appreciate what you have, and that is just what this book's core values are based on. With that, happiness follows and that is priceless. So, I may not have the dollars in my pocket or the bank, but I am endlessly rich in happiness and so is my family. This book shares that happiness and it was very inspirational to read. The "little bit of weird" makes me smile, even now, because I can relate directly. THANK YOU TONY! I HOPE THAT YOU AND THE REST OF US THAT WANT TO SPREAD YOUR CULTURE BRING HAPPINESS TO ALL THOSE LIVES THAT WE TOUCH ~ONE STEP, ONE LIFE, AT A TIME ****

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris mooloolaba, Australia 09-20-10
    Chris mooloolaba, Australia 09-20-10
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    "Inspiring tale of competency"

    A fascinating tale of the life of Tony Hsieh and the birth of zappos. The section on the company is great information for anyone wanting to build a great company or organisation. An inspiring read coupled with great insight from an awesome business leader. The book is read by the author and is not exactly polished, but in this instance I didn't find it detracted from the listening experience, it actually made it sound a bit more genuine. Great buy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucas Rockwood Koh Samui, Thailand 09-05-10
    Lucas Rockwood Koh Samui, Thailand 09-05-10 Member Since 2006
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    "Interesting Story - With a Grain of Salt"

    This is a very interesting story of startup success, but very much a fluke. Seeing as tons of entrepreneurs are reading this books, the big danger is to try to model Hsieh's strategy to find success themselves. While I truly believe that customer service is the future of sales and vitally important, it's important to remember that Zappos was nearly bankrupt multiple times and if not for linkexchange cash, it would never have been. Happiness didn't save the business. Seed money did. Not a criticism in any way, but an important thing to note... you can't happy your way to success alone. You need a solid business model and cash.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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