Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos.com

BOOK REVIEW

At a glance, the book is more like a book of memoir rather than a business book. However, the book conveys words of wisdom from a young dynamic businessman highlighting attitude of individuals and organizations, and how the two relates each other.  The messages in the book are therefore worth the guidance for many corporations seeking to improve the business performance.

It is an easy to read that narrates autobiography and personal entrepreneurial story of Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com; his childhood, college years, work experience, previous businesses and how he set up Zappos.com (Las Vegas based online retail store).

Zappos achieves a remarkable success with US$ 1 billion revenues. However, Tony did not gain the success in easy way. His company had a very turbulent history during the start-up. Part of the story in the book narrates Tony’s many personal sacrifices to help Zappos achieve such an extraordinary success.

One very strong message highlighted in this book is how “passionate individuals and strong organizational culture have the potential to reap profit for corporations.

Tony uses experimentation to find what passion is. He takes readers to understand more about living a life that is free of fear. Life is where people learn what they want to do. To gain a success in business, therefore, is part of life that can feasibly be achieved through trial-and-error of business ideas.

“Delivering Happiness” starts with a look atTony’s childhood.  Readers are taken closer to see his early life in high school, through his college experience at Harvard, and through the inception and buyout of LinkXChange, his first major company that earned him millions dollars.

After selling LInkXChange, Tony involved in a number of projects, from poker to investing, until he realized that building businesses was his passion. While keeping hitting the road of entrepreneurship, Tony jumped into a young and turbulent business (Zappos). He speculated his fortune. After a number of trial-and-error business maneuvers, Tony and his team managed to get Zappos off the ground and eventually growing.

In maintaining its success, Zappos sees service not as a cost but as a powerful marketing tool. Today, customers communicate with one another more through social media, so service is an inseparable element of the company’s culture.

Undoubtedly Tonyis an entrepreneur, innovator and achiever. His success is depicted in “Delivering Happiness”through a feel-good look at the passion, culture…andhappiness that could drive the next generation of companies.

Text: The Writerpreneur. Published in 3S Newsletter, March-May 2011.

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