Book report – Delivering Happiness

by | Jan 21, 2013 | Business

Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh is an entertaining and inspirational book about Tony’s personal journey as a business owner and the philosophy that propelled Zappos.com to amazing success.

Things I liked about the book

This book was divided into 3 parts that I liked for different reasons.

Delivering happinessPart 1 was Tony’s story – filled with lots of extremely interesting & funny stories. The descriptions of his crazy entrepreneurial ideas as a kid (worm farms, mail-order buttons, newsletters, selling pizza) are laugh-out-loud hilarious.

After college, he started an early internet ad network called LinkExchange which sold for $250 million. Tony’s personal take was around $40 million, but the real reason they sold the company is that it wasn’t a place he wanted to work any more. With that money, he could have easily retired, but instead plowed the money into investments, including a venture capital fund.

After the dot-com bubble crashed, Tony put all of his money into Zappos and decided to go from being a passive investor to a part of the team.

Part 2 is the beginning of Zappos. What’s most inspirational is the dedication that the founding team put into the company. Growing, but plagued with problems and on the verge of running out of money, they decided to do something radical.

They focused everything in their company on making amazing customer service. That included taking ownership of their own inventory rather than drop-shipping from manufacturers, providing free shipping and returns, having super hands-on phone support, and finally moving the company headquarters to Las Vegas for the express purpose of hiring more customer support employees.

Delivering happiness busPart 3 is the underlying philosophy of the company. Once they realized that making customers happy was key, they changed the company to include not just customers but employees, too. The Zappos team has spent a lot of time defining and documenting their culture, then hiring people who fit the culture well.

If you’re not a fit as a recent hire, they’ll offer a generous cash payment to leave. Every employee contributes to their annual book about culture, and they all know and try to live by the core values of the company.

Things I didn’t like about the book

I really enjoyed this book. If I had to pick any criticism, I’d say that I lost a bit of interest in the last section, where there’s a description of various kinds of happiness, and different approaches for achieving them.

Would I recommend it?

Yes. This book is entertaining and gives some good specific advice. If you’re not thinking about the impact of your company’s culture, this is a good incentive to consider it carefully.

Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.

Related posts

A Quick Guide to Setting Goals For Your Countertop Business

Goals are critical for any business, including the fabrication industry. Without them, it’s like playing a game of darts in a pitch-black room. You keep aiming and throwing, but you have no idea if you’re ever going to hit the bullseye. That’s where KPIs come...

How Often Do You Look at Your Shop’s Numbers?

Many fabricators put their heads down and do the hard work, never getting the chance to look around and ask: where could we be improving? If you’re a growing shop, now is the time to take the time to find out. You can’t set realistic goals and plan for pain-free...

Share This