Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose You want to learn about the path that we took at Zappos to get to overbillion in gross merchandise sales in less than ten years You want to learn about the path I took that eventually led me to Zappos, and the lessons I learned along the way You want to learn from all the mistakes we made at Zappos over the years so that your business can avoid making some of the same ones You want to figure out the right balance of profits, passion, and purpose in business and in life You want to build a long term, enduring business and brand You want to create a stronger company culture, which will make your employees and coworkers happier and create employee engagement, leading to higher productivity You want to deliver a better customer experience, which will make your customers happier and create customer loyalty, leading to increased profits You want to build something special You want to find inspiration and happiness in work and in life You ran out of firewood for your fireplace This book makes an excellent fire starter


About the Author: Tony Hsieh

In 1999, at the age of twenty four, Tony Hsieh pronounced Shay sold LinkExchange, the company he cofounded, to Microsoft for 265 million He then joined Zappos as an adviser and investor, and eventually became CEO He helped Zappos grow from almost nothing to over 1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually, while simultaneously making Fortune magazine s annual Best Places to Work For list Hsieh currently lives in Las Vegas and sort of has a cat.



10 thoughts on “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

  1. Otis Chandler Otis Chandler says:

    Tony Hsieh has some nerve suggesting that he built a billion dollar company in pursuit of happiness But the surprising thing is I actually think he s onto something Something that cuts through a lot of corporate BS and really makes sense Tony s thesis is basically that, whatever our intermediate goals in life are get your dream job, make a lot of money, find the right girl, etc , our ultimate goal is simply to be happy And what s , this is the key , happiness in life has to come from y Tony Hsieh has some nerve suggesting that he built a billion dollar company in pursuit of happiness But the surprising thing is I actually think he s onto something Something that cuts through a lot of corporate BS and really makes sense Tony s thesis is basically that, whatever our intermediate goals in life are get your dream job, make a lot of money, find the right girl, etc , our ultimate goal is simply to be happy And what s , this is the key , happiness in life has to come from your job as much as your personal life.Tony lays out a framework for how he personally has used happiness to create a very unique and successful culture at Zappos and how he personally came to that conclusion in his own life.I heard Tony Hsieh speak several years ago, and from that had one key takeaway that instead of spending marketing dollars acquiring customers, just have mind blowing WOWingly good customer service and your product will spread naturally as people will tell their friends about their good experiences It s harder to calculate the ROI, but it s something that makes a lot of sense, and we ve definitely incorporated it into Goodreads.Tony s Happiness frameworks has four pieces 1 Perceived control people need to be in control over their own fate At Zappos reps can earn up to 20 different skill sets or badges , and each one represents a pay raise It s up to the employee how much money they want to make.2 Perceived progress nobody likes to feel like they aren t going anywhere At Zappos they give smaller raises every 6 months instead of bigger ones annually.3 Connectedness Studies show that engaged employees areproductive, and the number of good friends an employee has at work is correlated with how engaged the employee is I found this one most interesting.4 Vision Meaning High Purpose People need to believe in something bigger than themselves The book Good to Great discusses how the truly great companies in terms of long term financial performance are those with higher purposes beyond making money This I do believe, which is why on the Goodreads about us page our mission is stated as to get people excited about reading.Other things I learned about Tony that were interesting Tony walked away from 20 million dollars because he didn t want to waste a year being miserable working for Microsoft Tony spent every cent he made from the 265 million LinkExchange acquisition in keeping Zappos afloat Again admirable.Things I learned about Zappos that were interesting The Zappos Core Values actually help the company quite a lot, as they ve made believing in their core values a core value The Core values are the way to keep the culture strong, because they are guidelines for people hiring to keep the desired qualities and traits Each core value has different interview questions, and employees try to gauge new candidates on each value using these questions Zappos believes so much in it s culture that Tony created a program to teach other companies how it did it called Zappos Insights Zappos built a culture book filled with stories of employees describing what each of the core values means to them regarding the company This makes the company feel like a big family


  2. Patti Patti says:

    I haven t read many business books, but when the Delivering Happiness bus came to my workplace, I received a free copy, so I thought I d give it a try.I understand that this isn t a tell all or an autobiography, but what you get is a scrubbed clean Channel One telling of how to succeed in business without really trying In a time when many people are anything but happy in their workplaces, I found the book to beof a guide to start a Fraternity, except without any mention of drugs and a I haven t read many business books, but when the Delivering Happiness bus came to my workplace, I received a free copy, so I thought I d give it a try.I understand that this isn t a tell all or an autobiography, but what you get is a scrubbed clean Channel One telling of how to succeed in business without really trying In a time when many people are anything but happy in their workplaces, I found the book to beof a guide to start a Fraternity, except without any mention of drugs and alcohol For real, you can t have a whole section about how great Raves are without mentioning Ecstasy The advice comes off as disingenuous when even the stories of the worst times could have happy faces at the end of each paragraph I ve always been very suspicious of crow baring the importance of culture into business It seems to me that trying to hire people you want to be friends with would eventually result in group think It s hard to argue, though, when Hsieh has millions of dollars and I have dozens of dollars From my experience, though, the amount of stress a company puts on how much fun they have, the less fun they are in reality I ve read that newer generations are less engaged with their jobs as a lifestyle and place family and friends first, not really mixing the two I wonder how these attitudes will mesh with the intense, Your coworkers are your family now philosophies I much rather have a professional, structured work environment, with a product that I understand and believe in, and make money equal to the amount of energy I put forth.I did take some good away 1 Hsieh s story makes you realize how much you should support the Entrepreneurial spirit in kids I was always trying to start businesses as a kid, so it was funny to hear about his trial and errors 2 I love the theory of giving people a two grand out if they quit after the initial training Not every job is the right fit for everyone.3 The idea of call centers being treated as a valid business careers No call times, no scripts, but instead hiring and training people to do their jobs professionally 4 Building a pipeline of talent having clear paths of how you can grow professionally


  3. Yodamom Yodamom says:

    AudiobookNarration excellent, various speakersI loved this story the unique way they developed this wonderful company Their moto, respect for each other and love of their customers is something I wishbusinesses would aim for They risked it all, they believed and they won the golden ring but they aren t relying on that ring to carry them, they are always striving for being better There are amazing firsts, and fumbling fails but never a giving up or giving in.I loved following the path o AudiobookNarration excellent, various speakersI loved this story the unique way they developed this wonderful company Their moto, respect for each other and love of their customers is something I wishbusinesses would aim for They risked it all, they believed and they won the golden ring but they aren t relying on that ring to carry them, they are always striving for being better There are amazing firsts, and fumbling fails but never a giving up or giving in.I loved following the path of the most resistance with Mr Hsieh and friends Inspirational heck yeh this book is good for the developing mind and opens the mind to dreams of what could be.The epilogue is not to be missed, stay till the end


  4. Korrina (OwlCrate) Korrina (OwlCrate) says:

    One of the best books about business, and personal happiness, I ve ever read I found it so inspiring and I can t wait to use what I ve learned with OwlCrate To anyone out there who owns a business, big or small, I highly recommend you read this.


  5. Ryan Kent Ryan Kent says:

    Nice and honest account of Tony Hsieh s history I m not sure how much of his success I account for his genius , or simply his being in the right place at the right time I wonder if his devotion to Zappos was really based on his gut instinct that the company would succeed, or if that is a story he has told himself to cover the fact that he was simply desperate to have it work since all of the other efforts he had funded had failed and he had wasted his riches on partying and finding himself Nice and honest account of Tony Hsieh s history I m not sure how much of his success I account for his genius , or simply his being in the right place at the right time I wonder if his devotion to Zappos was really based on his gut instinct that the company would succeed, or if that is a story he has told himself to cover the fact that he was simply desperate to have it work since all of the other efforts he had funded had failed and he had wasted his riches on partying and finding himself Regardless, I feel the going for broke mentality he portrayed is not something to aspire to and isakin to seeing someone win the lottery after buying a million tickets and thinking hey, he s a genius and trying to do the same.Don t get me wrong Hsieh defiantly made Zappos into what it is, and I love the start up, entrepreneurial attitudeI just don t think his story is very inspirational, and people are in awe of him because of the halo effect of the Zappos sale


  6. Laura Laura says:

    Recommended by Kate Burgess at FulfillNet.Easy read Some takeaways Pg 65 Don t play games that you don t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them Pg 136 Ask Anything idea Employees are encouraged to send an email and ask any question they want The anonymous questions and answers are compiled each month and emailed to the entire company Pg 149 Re the Culture Book if someone asked you to recite your corporate values or mission statement without lo Recommended by Kate Burgess at FulfillNet.Easy read Some takeaways Pg 65 Don t play games that you don t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them Pg 136 Ask Anything idea Employees are encouraged to send an email and ask any question they want The anonymous questions and answers are compiled each month and emailed to the entire company Pg 149 Re the Culture Book if someone asked you to recite your corporate values or mission statement without looking it up, could you People wonder how Zappos employees somehow remember all 10 Core Values by heart To me, it s simpleit s easy when your company s core values are ones that apply not to just work, but to life Pg 154 Core Values 1 Deliver WOW through service.2 Embrace and drive change.3 Create fun and a little weirdness.4 Be adventurous, creative, and open minded.5 Pursue growth and learning.6 Build open and honest relationships with communication.7 Build a positive team and family spirit.8 Dowith less.9 Be passionate and determined.10 Be humble Even though our core values guide us in everything we do today, we didn t actually have any formal core values for the first six or seven years of the company s history, because it was something I d always thought of as a very corporate thing to do I resisted doing it for as long as possible I m jus glad that an employee finally convinced me that it was necessary to come up with core values essentially, a formalized definition of our culture in order for us to continue to scale and grow I only wish we had done it sooner Pg 160 Our core values should always be the framework from which we make all of our decisionsMake at least one improvement every week that makes Zappos better to reflect our core values The improvements don t have to be dramatic it can be as simple as adding in an extra sentence or two to a form to make itfun, for example But if every employee made just one small improvement every week to better reflect our core values, then by the end of this year we will have over 50,000 small changes that collectively will be a very dramatic improvement compared to where we are today Pg 164 Think about what it means to improve just 1% per day and build upon that every single day Doing so has a dramatic effect and will make us 37x better, not 365% 3.65x better, at the end of the year Wake up every day and ask yourself not only what is the 1% improvement I can change to make Zappos better, but also what is the 1% improvement I can change to make myself better personally and professionally In the end we, as Zappos, can t grow unless we, as individuals, grow too


  7. John Cass John Cass says:

    I m not sure that Mr Hsieh really knew what he was doing most of the time He was obviously quite young when he enjoyed his initial success with LinkExchange, and it s hard to tell wether or not there was ever any sound basis for the decisions he made.I liked his ideas on Ask Anything , and how a business should be obsessed with its customers in order to remain successful over the long term The book also provides some interesting insights as to what it was like to start one s career right at I m not sure that Mr Hsieh really knew what he was doing most of the time He was obviously quite young when he enjoyed his initial success with LinkExchange, and it s hard to tell wether or not there was ever any sound basis for the decisions he made.I liked his ideas on Ask Anything , and how a business should be obsessed with its customers in order to remain successful over the long term The book also provides some interesting insights as to what it was like to start one s career right at the beginning of the dot com boom, and life on the west coast during that era in general I was amazed to learn how many high risk, radical changes the leadership team was willing to introduce in the early days of Zappos in order to try and address problem areas And how these radical interventions helped shape the culture and result in the business eventually turning profitable for the first time.It ain t Drucker, but if you enjoy feel good hippie business books, or have not explored the genre before, it may be an entertaining read


  8. Nguyen Linh Chi Nguyen Linh Chi says:

    WOW This is the most candid and informal business book I have ever read It is stupendous from Tony left his 41000 per year job at Oracle to he started his first company, LinkExchange, from LinkExchange was acquired by Microsoft to Tony left it because of feeling unmotivated, from Zappos combination of drop shipping and selling inventory products to a well establishment of warehousing system, from Zappos hardship in finance and warehouses to its profit of 1 billion for less than 10 years, f WOW This is the most candid and informal business book I have ever read It is stupendous from Tony left his 41000 per year job at Oracle to he started his first company, LinkExchange, from LinkExchange was acquired by Microsoft to Tony left it because of feeling unmotivated, from Zappos combination of drop shipping and selling inventory products to a well establishment of warehousing system, from Zappos hardship in finance and warehouses to its profit of 1 billion for less than 10 years, from the company s being funded by Sequoia to being acquired byand becoming an independent entity, from no culture at LinkExchange to 10 core values at Zappos, etc Tiki Vietnam also applies this business model controlling its own warehouses and good customer service It is exhilirating when he talks about business Never outsourcing your competitive advantage For e commerce, they are customer service and warehousing. customer service shouldn t just be a department, it should be an entire company. Others can copy our images, our shipping, and the overall look of our Website, but they cannot copy our people, our culture, or our service.The WOW experience is extremely vital for today s business as making customers satisfied and surprised at your service quality will result in profitability and sustainable development.Not only did this book discussed about business but it also gave stunning ideas about friendship, networking and personal effort, and even EDM music and raving culture Tony detests networking events and reciprocity, which I agree because I find those kinds of events awkward and uncomfortable When we want to build rapport with others, we have to be their friends first I have friends from all different walks of life Some friends I enjoy hanging out with at bars Some friends I enjoy watching movies with Some friends I enjoy working with Some friends I enjoy hiking with And some friends I enjoy writing withTo sum up, this book should be read by everyone because I believe that everybody can benefit something from it For me, after finishing this book, I set up one goal for me everyday 1% improvement I can change to make myself better personally and professionally


  9. Cori Reed Cori Reed says:

    Korrina gave Sally, Crystal and I copies of this book after Christmas, urging us to read it as a little homework to become inspired for 2018.I have never read a business book before because, well, I ve never really had the cause Delivering Happiness was definitely an interesting look at customer service and working for and creating a company you believe in, which, YAY I certainly feel that way about OwlCrate.As much as Tony Shieh s life was unique and interesting to read about, my only qualm i Korrina gave Sally, Crystal and I copies of this book after Christmas, urging us to read it as a little homework to become inspired for 2018.I have never read a business book before because, well, I ve never really had the cause Delivering Happiness was definitely an interesting look at customer service and working for and creating a company you believe in, which, YAY I certainly feel that way about OwlCrate.As much as Tony Shieh s life was unique and interesting to read about, my only qualm is I wanted to get to the motivating and eye opening advice and stories earlier It s just a niggle I still 100% recommend this book


  10. Jacob McLaws Jacob McLaws says:

    I like that Tony Hsieh is so straight forward about what he writes It makes it easy to follow the story of his founding Link Exchange and then running Zappos This isn t a groundbreaking book and the existential stuff at the end is a bit overkill for a book like this, but I appreciate the intent and I think all in all this is a great story of a entrepreneurial hustler that had some good team building habits.Thought experiments I want to do occasionally When he gets offered 20 million dollars f I like that Tony Hsieh is so straight forward about what he writes It makes it easy to follow the story of his founding Link Exchange and then running Zappos This isn t a groundbreaking book and the existential stuff at the end is a bit overkill for a book like this, but I appreciate the intent and I think all in all this is a great story of a entrepreneurial hustler that had some good team building habits.Thought experiments I want to do occasionally When he gets offered 20 million dollars for Link Exchange and sits down to write down what he d do with the money I should think through what I want to do with the money I m hoping to earn and think about whether those things are what I really believe will make me happy pg 43 When he goes on a poker spree and spends a year just gambling he learns an important lesson I d realized that whether in poker, in business, or in life, it was easy to get caught up and engrossed in what I was currently doing, and that made it easy to forget that I always had the option to change tables Psychologically, it s hard because of all the inertia to overcome Without conscious and deliberate effort, inertia always wins I d started to force myself to think again about what I was trying to get out of life I asked myself what I was trying to accomplish, what I wanted to do, and whether I should be sitting at a different table I should stop and think about other tablesregularly pg 69 Other highlights A great company islikely to die of indigestion from too much opportunity than starvation from too little Packard s Law pg 89 Zappos Core Values The Zappos Mission To live and deliver WOW1 Deliver WOW through Service2 Embrace and Drive Change3 Create Fun and a Little Weirdness4 Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open Minded5 Pursue Growth and Learning6 Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication7 Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit8 Do More with Less9 Be Passionate and Determined10 Be Humble pg 159 Advice on how to be a good public speaker 1 Be passionate2 Tell personal stories3 Be real pg 206 Two big parts of making a good company culture are perceived progress and connectedness with others Essentially, promoting peopleoften in smaller increments or havingmilestones and helping people havegood friends at work are awesome ways to make your company culture great pg 234 There are three types of happiness 1 Pleasure rock star happiness 2 Passion flow and engagement 3 Higher purpose being part of something bigger than yourself Pleasure is unsustainable and is analogous to profits in terms of a business As much as possible I should aim to fill my life with flow activities and finding a way to be part of something bigger pg 237


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