Book Review: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

DeliveringHappiness

If you are into shoes and entrepreneurship, this book is for you, it combines entrepreneurship and the fetish for shoes.

For the book, Delivering Happiness is a chronicle of the journey, and of Tony’s early life as an entrepreneur and how he build Zappos.

On the surface Zappos is meant to be a shoe store, according to Tony Hseih:

“We are a service company that happens to sell.”

If you read Delivering Happiness, you may come to believe that Tony Hsieh (pronounced: Shay) is really on to something. The thing about Zappos is that it really might be a model for a new way to build and run a business. Turning happiness into profit.

“It is about giving employees permission and encouraging them to just be themselves,” says Hsieh.

It all began with worms, before shoes.

Are entrepreneurs born or made? In Tony’s case the urge started young. “I think that is one of the things I have noticed in a lot of other entrepreneurs is they all have usually done all sorts of crazy things, and just tried a lot of things especially at a pretty young age. Growing up, whether it was garage sales, lemonade stands, and yeah, the idea of selling earthworms and making lots of money from that was one of my childhood dreams.”

While earthworms did not work out, a teenage button-making business turned a profit, and Hsieh was hooked on building businesses.

“I think entrepreneurs view the failures as getting one step closer to the success. As opposed to oh, like I’m a failure.”

One of the many lessons in the book is about customer service. Customer service builds your brand and drives word-of-mouth.

Your culture is your brand.

The brand is just a leading indicator of a company’s culture. Others can copy your images, they can copy your offerings, they can even copy the overall look and feel of your website but they cannot copy your people, your culture and your service.

The book is credible and authentic. Zappos has real strengths when it comes to customer service and culture

If you are going into business, more specifically retail, your customers are your priority and it’s not just talking about it actually doing it.

Everything that you do as a company should be centered around your customer, every thought that you have should be around your customer

It is also about having a great team. Bring in the right people, listen to them and really do what you say you are going to do.

Today, of course, Zappos is way more than shoes. It is a place where people who are passionate about shoes meet and discuss not only shoes but other like minded things.

Ranking

9/10

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

In many ways, it is two books for the price of one. It’s story of Tony Hseih and of Zappos at the same time.

It’s a funny, wry, honest autobiography of a striving Asian American who has the drive and ambition of his family deeply ingrained, and at the same time the irreverence of a hustler university student who is looking to create a “vibe” that makes the people around him feel like they are part of something special.

This book is about turning happiness into profit.

Tony Hsieh, has a net worth of more than $820 million but has opted for the simple life by living in a trailer park instead of a mansion. This dude is weird in a good way.

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Favourite Quote

  • “Money alone isn’t enough to bring happiness . . . happiness [is] when you’re actually truly ok with losing everything you have.”
  • “Happiness is really just about four things: perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness (number and depth of your relationships), and vision/meaning (being part of something bigger than yourself).”
  • “I had decided to stop chasing the money, and start chasing the passion.”
  • “Your personal core values define who you are, and a company’s core values ultimately define the company’s character and brand. For individuals, character is destiny. For organiasations, culture is destiny.”
  • “The combination of physical synchrony with other humans and being part of something bigger than oneself (and thus losing momentarily a sense of self) leads to a greater sense of happiness.”
  • “We must never lose our sense of urgency in making improvements. We must never settle for “good enough,” because good is the enemy of great,”

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One thought on “Book Review: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

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