Jay's Reviews > Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
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's review
Jan 15, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: business, audiobook
Read in January, 2011

Tony Hsieh's book doesn't read like other business books about leaders of large, market-dominating organizations. I thought I would be reading a new age version of Alfred Sloan's "My Years with General Motors". You know, one of those books with the author stating all the ways he made smart choices and found new valuable connections to lead his company to victory. Tony's book isn't like that. I was struck, instead by how many times he got lucky throughout his experiences. I'd also add perserverence as a defining factor, knowing that this is often tied with luck. Tony described his perserverence at trying to make money through a series of businesses that he ran when younger. I would also add the ability to invest a lot of your own money appears to be a key element in this story and in his most recent success. If he didn't have a lot of money and if he didn't have the guts to invest it, Zappos would have been doomed multiple times. He doesn't really present his decisions as being all that intelligent - he talks about a lot of mistakes along the way. And that makes the business parts of this book interesting - certainly not a "do as I say" book. A large chunk of the book is about defining and building the customer-serving culture at Zappos. The documentation and the process is good as an example, but wasn't written to be a "how to" book on bulding culture. Overall, I really enjoyed Tony's personal stories. I listened to the audiobook, and I liked that (I believe) Zappo's employees read some of the sections that they wrote.

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