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

Have you ever heard Zappos? If you follow the news, i thought you must already know this company. Zappos is a online shoe retailer that was acquired by Amazon on June 2009 (last year). Amazon has acquired Zappos for $850 million. Why Amazon want to buy Zappos? The answer can be found on Mashable site on this article. One of the factor why Zappos can be successful is the leadership of the management team of Zappo which is lead by it’s CEO, Tony Hsieh. In 1999, Tony Hsieh sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos as an adviser and investor, and eventually became CEO. In 2009, Zappos was listed as one of Fortune magazine’s top 25 companies to work for, and was acquired by Amazon later that year in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing.

Last week, Tony Hsieh publish a book Delivering Happiness:  A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. In this book, Hsieh offers his thoughts and his visionary about different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Ultimately, he shows how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life. This books right now become #1 best selling books in Amazon, #1 in Barnes & Noble and #6 in iBookStore.

Extraordinary Success Story

This books is a mix of autobiographical and business advice about achieving happiness in your life and passing it on to others. In this book, Hsieh share about of his journey of life, his transformation from Harvard student dot-com entrepreneur to the man behind a formidable brand. After sell his Internet company LinkExchange to Microsoft,  Hsieh have the problem with his dwindling investments fund. During this time he immersed himself in the game of poker. By playing some poker game, he learn some lessons which is impact his decision making several years later. As the funding for his incubator companies and Zappos.com seems dried up, Hsieh then cutting expenses and presciently build his revolutionary company’s brand by making customer happy is the most important thing.

The story becomes suspenseful as Hsieh tell his stress when take care of operating in survival mode, liquidating his assets to fund the company seeking out an 11th-hour loan. Here we see the out-of-the-box thinking of Zappos’ early years when he taking huge personal risks, doing crazy things like a 36 hour non-stop drive to open a warehouse in Kentucky. Once again this story prove that business success seems to come from hard work, passion, dedication, and often some luck.

By the time Zappos is acquired by Amazon for more than $1.2 billion in 2009. In that time he dropped a bombshell on his employees that they are packing up and moving the company from San Francisco to Kentucky, and it’s a credit to the culture he has developed among his employees that almost 80% of the employees chose to make the move. Around this time they developed the Zappos Culture Book, a book written by the employees telling what Zappos Culture means to them, and given out to prospective employees, vendors and sometimes customers. Zappos brand identity is great customer service. Offering free shipping and returns, upgrading orders to overnight shipping, and encouraging customer service reps to stay on the phone as long as it takes to make the customer happy are all standard.

Mr. Hsieh also talks about several models of the Happiness Framework.  Mr. Hsieh explain about the link between what makes people happy personally, and what makes for a successful long term business model.  Using happiness as a guiding principal can help simplify the seemingly complicated task of creating a great company culture.

I am amazed about the way Mr. Hsieh walking down the path toward this goal, and sharing his knowledge with the rest of the world. The question is how do you get from worm farmer to running a company with over a billion dollars in shoe sales? This Delivering Happiness:  A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose is honest, fun, inspirational book. If you like motivational book or maybe curious about the zippo company or maybe just like to read someone extraordinary biography, i recommended all of you to read this book. I’t’s realy worth to read

Here some testimonial for his book (from Amazon) :

“In DELIVERING HAPPINESS, Tony reveals the secret to his success at such a young age: leadership in culture and happiness.” (Lance Armstrong )

“In this fascinating (and often hilarious) account, Tony explains how he turns his beliefs into actions that really do deliver happiness.” (Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project )

“This book is awesome. How Tony and Zappos grew to $1 billion in gross revenue in 10 years is just the beginning. From fundraising to finding happiness, from actual e-mails to checklists, it covers it all. Intensely personal and intensely practical.” (Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek )

“Tony is a wise guy.  Sincerely.  He’s one of the wisest and most thoughtful business leaders of the modern age.” (Chip Conley, Founder and CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality and Author, PEAK:  How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow) (added by author)

“This book could start a revolution!” (Marshall Goldsmith, author of MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It )

“This book illustrates so many of Zappos’ core values: it’s open and honest, passionate and humble, fun and a little weird. Even if you don’t care about business, technology, or shoes, you’ll be drawn in by this American tale of how hard work, laziness, talent and failure blend together to create an extraordinary life.” (Jonathon Haidt, author of THE HAPPINESS HYPOTHESIS: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom )

“Tony Hsieh is the shining star of a new way of working. DELIVERING HAPPINESS is a book that tells an extraordinary business story — building a $1 billion online business selling shoes in less than a decade — but also an extraordinary human story. Tony is one of those entrepreneurs who is both fearless and endlessly imaginative about pursuing his dreams.” (Tony Schwartz, Author of THE WAY WE’RE WORKING ISN’T WORKING )

“DELIVERING HAPPINESS is a glimpse into the mind of one of the most remarkable business leaders of our time. Like its author, the book is authentic, oddly original, doesn’t take itself too seriously–yet delivers a potent message. This book needs to be read by anyone who takes the happiness of other people seriously. ” (Dave Logan, professor at the Marshall School of Business/USC’ and coauthor of TRIBAL LEADERSHIP AND THE THREE LAWS OF PERFORMANCE )

“An uplifting tale of entrepereneurial success, personal growth, and redemption.” (Publishers Weekly )

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  1. July 13th, 2010 at 12:14 | #1

    It was really inspiring I loved it, thanks a ton to bring me back and more closer to my real self and my family.

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