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
This book should have been sub-titled "An autobiography of Tony Hsieh." I bought this book expecting to learn alot of valuable lessons from someone who is clearly a brilliant business man. Instead I got hour after hour of his life story (and sometimes in WAY too graphic of detail). The second half of the book is one long commercial about Zappos. There were a few pearls of wisdom to be had, but overall I'd say this book is only for the hard-core Zappos/Tony Hsieh enthusiast.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
Success after failure
The presentation of the issues faced and the candid opinions makes this book a worthy study in how to succeed.
As a person who actually went through the experiences, you can hear the emotion in his voice at some parts.
It is best taken in chapter by chapter.
For any aspiring entrepreneur who wants to build his own startup, this should be required reading.
Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 ****
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.
Best book of its kind I've listened to. Really get a feel of Tony's personality and how it's shaped Zappos
"Not to be missed"
fabulous book.everyone in business should read it. Can't wait to implement the nuggets in my business
It's great to hear the voice of the author. Tony transmits so much from the tone & style of his narration, about how he really is.
Trying inspiring book
A must read for people running a start up or an established business. This book lives up to its title and most certainly changed my opinion of company cultures and work environment. It's read by the author which gives it a real personal touch. The additional chapter/interview at the end of the book with Tony is very entertaining and inspiring.
Loved this book. I'm already a big believer in doing what you love and loving what you do and the return a positive culture in the workplace has on the bottom line. Totally inspirational and already recommended many times over to friends and family.
"required reading for entrepreneurs, employees...."
Zappos' model, culture and customer focus is the model all business should adopt.
I will be in my business!
"Stands out from the crown; creating unique culture"
Haven't read print version
delivering WOW - getting an insight into unique thinking and unique culture.
Great sense of well being - want to get involved in delivering happiness movement.
I will be getting involved with friends and colleagues.
"Very moving & personal with great business advice"
The way the book was laid out like a story. It was very personal and gave great insight into an amazing business. A very easy read and one I've already repeated multiple times.
It's also read by the author which is a rare occurrence, if you read the book though you'll understand how it fits perfectly with the "Zappos Culture" for him to do this.
A must read for any business owner.
It was told in the first person in a very human and down to earth way with splashes of perspective from customers / employees. It makes you care for the business. Even though I've never even been on the Zappos website let alone bought anything I love the business. I'll definitely be looking them up next time I buy shoes!
Holding my breath as he gives up everything he owns,(literally) risking it all on his belief that Zappos will succeed if they can hold on long enough. Brave moves!
The trip up kilimanjaro and resulting dreams / hallucinations.
A must read for anyone in any business. But especially if you plan to run or are involved in Ecommerce or any service business.
Even if none of the above applies to you it was an extremely entertaining read. Another great story from a world class business.
"Captivating listen and very surprising story"
I found I could listen to this anywhere and would just sit and listen without any need to fidget or work on anything else to occupy me. A totally captivating true story of adversity, good and bad fortune and sheer hard work and a lot of risks taken. It is written with humility and was engaging for the entire 8 hours of the book. Fantastic Audio book ...thanks.
"A great journey"
Unexpectedly well narrated, this is a gem of a business book that really takes listeners through the whole range of emotions surrounding business creation and success. I particularly enjoyed the actions that Tony and his team took when things got really tough. Well worth the time.
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