Last week I was invited to speak at the Amdocs InTouch conference in Budapest, it was my first trip to Hungry and I’m hoping to visit again soon as it is a truly fantastic city. Whilst there I was able to find some time to read the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh’s new book called Delivering Happiness. Now I’ve been a big fan of Zappos for the past three years, have blogged about them several times and often make reference to the great work that they do in my presentations. So I was thrilled when I received an advanced copy from the publishers. I have to admit my expectations were high and Tony did not fail to WOW me. Given Zappos’ reputation this should not surprise. But what did surprise me was the truly inspirational story of bravery and human endeavour behind Tony’s and Zappos’ success.
To be honest I had in my mind a picture of Tony being the kind of “lucky” person who whatever he touches turns to gold. After all, this is a guy who three years out of college sold his start up internet advertising business LinkExchange to Microsoft in for $265 million, and then in 2009 sold Zappos to Amazon for an incredible $1.2 billion. Talk about being an “Outlier”! What I hadn’t however, known until reading the book, were the incredible risks, hard work and sacrifices that Tony made. Like any entrepreneur it took sheer guts, determination and perseverance, a willingness to loose it all in order to win and above all a great passion to fight for what he believed in.
I’m going to reread the book and this time with a pen and highlighter as there are insights and nuggets of brilliance on every page. As I do I will collate the thoughts and ideas from the book and share them with you.
I highly recommend this book to anyone in business who is passionate about making a difference to the lives of their customers and the people they work with. It’s a must read for 2010!! Get a copy of the book at Amazon
Here are a few reviews of what other people are saying about the book:
“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 )
I completely agree – it DOES seem like everything he touches turns to gold. But he’s truly done things right this time with Zappos. Looking forward to seeing your “collated” thoughts!