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

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
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Apr 10, 11

Read in March, 2011

I really loved the childhood stories, and the tales of how he doubles his bets when he's almost knocked out. That sort of spirit along with luck has certainly helped drive Zappos' success. Certainly attracting a few key people in the beginning made a big difference too. He's clearly a very smart entrepreneur.

The author's first-hand insights into what he thinks has made him successful with Zappos are problematic however. I think he's fallen into the trap of being too close to see what makes him achieve and instead believing your own "stuff" about how everything you did caused the outcome. I'm skeptical and the author is unconvincing in the linkage. This sounds more like hindsight bias, which is when you know the outcome then look back and associate all your actions with the known outcome.

I'm left wondering if the author really understands his business well enough to be lecturing us on it. You could at least say he's earned the right to be heard. I would have liked to see more effort in this book go into illustrating the specific business activities underpinning the Zappos business, beyond, you know, "Free shipping, both ways" and having call center people really talk to customers.

I contrast this to an e-commerce business like Amazon and see that Amazon has sustained success in so many different domains, etc. based not on magical thinking but on creating and expertly exploiting keen business insights. One last thing, I think including so many of your own corporate emails in your book makes for tedious reading and makes you seem like you couldn't be bothered to actually write the book.
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message 1: by Rex (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rex Galbraith Nick to what do you base your critique?


Nick Rex wrote: "Nick to what do you base your critique?"

Ah, I just now saw your comment Rex. Though, I don't know how to answer it. There's not so much unclear about the basis for my critique, I mean it's all spelled out in the review. My critique is based on what is NOT in the book (business or e-tailing insights, clear linkage between actions and business results) and the sense that there's a lot of narcissistic filler (reprints of emails to the staff). Maybe you see it differently?


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