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 LinkI'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. ...more
This book details a handful of subjective research findings as to why some companies become great, while others simply remain good at what they do. ThThis book details a handful of subjective research findings as to why some companies become great, while others simply remain good at what they do. The author uses strained analogies to belabor a few simple concepts which can basically be summarized as:
Rule #1: Hire the best people you can, and make sure that they fill the right positions Rule #2: Learn rule #1 first.
Everything else seems to flow naturally from the above: maintaining a culture of discipline, the compounding effects of launching the right small initiatives, avoiding mistakes, focussing on what makes you money, figuring out what your company can be the best at, remaining realistically optimistic etc.
The book does provide some interesting insights into 11 great companies (some of which have gone bankrupt since the book was published by the way), and may be worthwhile if only to become privy to a few intimate details of how the companies were run, and the personalities that shaped their destiny....more