Review: Delivering Happiness

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

By Tony Hsieh

Publisher: Business Plus


Source: Goodreads Giveaway

From the cover:

  • Pay brand-new employees $2,000 to quit
  • Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a department
  • Focus on company culture as the #1 priority
  • Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business
  • Help employees grow-both personally and professionally
  • Seek to change the world
  • Oh, and make money too . . .
  • Sound crazy? It’s all standard operating procedure at Zappos, the online retailer that’s doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. After debuting as the highest-ranking newcomer in Fortune magazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list in 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing.

    In DELIVERING HAPPINESS, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life, from starting a worm farm to running a pizza business, through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Fast-paced and down-to-earth, DELIVERING HAPPINESS shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success-and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.

Part memoir, part Zappos’s history, and part business advice, Delivering Happiness is an honest and transparent account of how to obtain happiness in business as well as in life.

I still remember the first time I really heard about Zappos. It was in college in my management class when we watched a video about Amazon’s acquisition of Zappos as well as the philosophy lying behind each company. After watching the video I remembered thinking how fun it would be to work for Zappos and it’s no wonder why it ranks in Fortune magazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list. I’m sure working at Zappos could rival working at the Googleplex (which we also watched a video on in my management class).

I’ve already started recommending this book to a ton of my friends and it’s not just for people who are only interested in becoming an entrepreneur or bettering their current business. At first glance it may seem like a book detailing how Hsieh was able to create a $1.2 billion business in approximately ten years. But it’s so much more than that. It’s about finding your passion and figuring out what you want out of life; what your higher purpose is and what will truly give you happiness. His objective wasn’t to get business owners to change how they run their business, but rather to share with them what he found was helpful and not helpful in providing happiness to consumers as well as employees.

What really struck me while reading this book was how easy it was for me to relate to Hsieh and the victories and failures that he went through as well as the decisions he had to make. Although whereas Hsieh had the courage to take risks and go into the unknown, I usually took the easy and safe route. The book made me analyze my life and look back at all the decisions I’ve made and question whether or not I should of done this rather than that. It made think about my future goals and whether or not I was headed in the right direction; whether or not I was working towards long term happiness or short term pleasure.

Hsieh realized early on

“how easily we are all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately happiness is really just about enjoying life”.

It’s a simple discovery, but I don’t think many people out there realize that. Thinking about what made me happy in life, I realized that a lot of it didn’t revolve around monetary and material items. It’s definitely given me a new perspective on life and happiness.

Although I was initially interested in the book because it related to entrepreneurship, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it offered more than the basic means of operating a business. It was a truly motivating and inspiring book that I would highly recommend to everyone. I think it’s worth the read regardless if you are interested in business or not.

[ purchase from amazon ] [ visit the author ]


Posted on July 6, 2010, in 4.5 stars, book reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Cool read. I like this company. Their customer service is phenomenal.

  2. A friend of mine toured Zappos and she came back raving and wanting to work for the company. Glad to see the book is so good.

  3. Very nice review, DW. It’s nice when a book affects you in such a positive way…..

  4. I won this book recently and am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the review!

  5. i love stories like these! i’ve never ordered from zappos but it would seem that i’m in the minority. sounds like a great read and i’m all about people who make something from nothing. my sister has an in-law who started a huge, internationally known beverage company from a $10,000 loan from his dad, a good idea, and lots of hard work. it really can happen.

  6. @ Juju: I’ve never ordered from the company before, but now that’s going to be the first place I check if I need shoes or anything.

    @Bermudaonion: Ohh I’m jealous! I want to go on a tour of the company too.

    @Julie: yup! I love books like that.

    @Teresa: I hope you enjoy the book too! Can’t wait to read your thoughts on it.

    @Nat: wow that’s incredible!! so true though, determination and hard work can go a long way and i think most people will be surprised by the end results.

  1. Pingback: Book Review: #50 – Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh (audio) | Let's eat Grandpa!

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