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Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  66,194 ratings  ·  2,601 reviews
You want to learn about the path that we took at Zappos to get to over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales in less than ten years. You want to learn about the path I took that eventually led me to Zappos, and the lessons I learned along the way. You want to learn from all the mistakes we made at Zappos over the years so that your business can avoid making some of the sam ...more
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published June 7th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  66,194 ratings  ·  2,601 reviews

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Otis Chandler
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, business
Tony Hsieh has some nerve suggesting that he built a billion dollar company in pursuit of happiness. But the surprising thing is I actually think he's onto something. Something that cuts through a lot of corporate BS and really makes sense.

Tony's thesis is basically that, whatever our intermediate goals in life are (get your dream job, make a lot of money, find the right girl, etc), our ultimate goal is simply to be happy. And what's more, (this is the key), happiness in life has to come from y
Oct 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
I haven’t read many business books, but when the “Delivering Happiness’ bus came to my workplace, I received a free copy, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I understand that this isn’t a ‘tell all’ or an autobiography, but what you get is a scrubbed clean Channel One telling of how to succeed in business without really trying. The advice comes off as disingenuous when even the stories of the worst times could have happy faces at the end of each paragraph.

I’ve always been very suspicious of crow ba
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
Narration- excellent, various speakers
I loved this story the unique way they developed this wonderful company. Their moto, respect for each other and love of their customers is something I wish more businesses would aim for. They risked it all, they believed and they won the golden ring but they aren't relying on that ring to carry them, they are always striving for being better. There are amazing firsts, and fumbling fails but never a giving up or giving in.
I loved following the path o
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books about business, and personal happiness, I've ever read. I found it so inspiring and I can't wait to use what I've learned with OwlCrate. To anyone out there who owns a business, big or small, I highly recommend you read this. ...more
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended by Kate Burgess at FulfillNet.

Easy read. Some takeaways:

- Pg. 65 "Don't play games that you don't understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them."

- Pg. 136 "Ask Anything" idea. Employees are encouraged to send an email and ask any question they want. The anonymous questions and answers are compiled each month and emailed to the entire company.

- Pg. 149 Re: the Culture Book..."if someone asked you to recite your corporate values or mission statement without lo
Ryan Kent
Jun 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Nice and honest account of Tony Hsieh's history. I'm not sure how much of his success I account for his 'genius', or simply his being in the right place at the right time. I wonder if his devotion to Zappos was really based on his gut instinct that the company would succeed, or if that is a story he has told himself to cover the fact that he was simply desperate to have it work since all of the other efforts he had funded had failed and he had wasted his riches on partying and 'finding himself'. ...more
Nguyen Linh Chi
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WOW. This is the most candid and informal business book I have ever read. It is stupendous from Tony left his $41000-per-year job at Oracle to he started his first company, LinkExchange, from LinkExchange was acquired by Microsoft to Tony left it because of feeling unmotivated, from Zappos' combination of drop-shipping and selling inventory products to a well-establishment of warehousing system, from Zappos' hardship in finance and warehouses to its profit of $1 billion for less than 10 years, f ...more
John Cass
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audio
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 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
Cori Reed
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Korrina gave Sally, Crystal and I copies of this book after Christmas, urging us to read it as a little homework to become inspired for 2018.

I have never read a business book before because, well, I've never really had the cause. Delivering Happiness was definitely an interesting look at customer service and working for and creating a company you believe in, which, YAY! I certainly feel that way about OwlCrate.

As much as Tony Shieh's life was unique and interesting to read about, my only qualm i
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Must read from a consummate Fastlane entrepreneur; lessons about passion and violating expectations!
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like that Tony Hsieh is so straight forward about what he writes. It makes it easy to follow the story of his founding Link Exchange and then running Zappos. This isn't a groundbreaking book and the existential stuff at the end is a bit overkill for a book like this, but I appreciate the intent and I think all in all this is a great story of a entrepreneurial hustler that had some good team building habits.

Thought experiments I want to do occasionally:

When he gets offered $20 million dollars f
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I was already pretty familiar with many of the more unique aspects of Zappos' customer service-oriented culture, which may be why I wasn't blown away by this abbreviated history of the company. Hsieh front-loads the reader right off the bat by warning you that the book is a vague autobiography and company history and business manifesto, but it still feels like it glosses over all three. The most interesting revelations about Zappos' founding and development was how close Zappos (and Hsieh himsel ...more
Srikanth Krishnamurthy
Delivering Happiness begins like an autobiography of the author ( one of the successful entrepreneurs ) Mr.Tony Hsieh. I felt the first section from the way he described his childhood trying to explore different business opportunities he undertook wasn’t much pulsating. It was a great comeback in the second and third sections of the book which delivered not only happiness but also many other ingredients such as motivation, passion , inspiration, core values and so forth at its best. He sets a gr ...more
Rosie Nguyễn
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You know how a book can keep you anchored in the world full of frustration and distraction. You know when everything around you is whirling and when you open the book it's another world and you find joy and peace. Yeah that's my personal feeling with this book.

I brought the book with me through continuous travels, and it's my real comfort. Not just because of the book's content, but just when I feel tired with all the social media and people and forces around me, I find the book a place to hide
May Ling
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Summary: A great autobiography about someone we should admire in business. The story is so easy to listen to, you at first miss the messages and takeaways. Great story for how to manifest reality.

Hsieh is a purebred entrepreneur having started very young at trying to sell and build a business. This is a theme when I see people who are just amazing at getting it done.

p. 72 - "Envision, create, and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you." This was advice from a strange
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I've been on a kick with reading these leadership books I was supposed to read anywhere from 2-5 years ago. I knew going into this that Zappos, as an Amazon property, has been able to maintain their own culture and operate fairly independently from Amazon. This was a good story of how Tony started this entrepreneurial ways, as early as in his early childhood trying to sell punk buttons to people, to starting a shoe business from scratch. From interviews, I've always found Tony to be a fun and ea ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
There are some great gems in here that make it worth reading - unfortunately scattered between a lot of personal stuff that wasn't really necessary. Gives some context, for sure, but muddies the waters a bit in my opinion. ...more
Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's not often that I sit down and devour an entire book in one day, but today I read Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos') new book 'Delivering Happiness' cover to cover.

Some of my favorite classes in college were the Entrepreneurship classes I took through the Wellesley/Olin/Babson consortium. Not only were we given hands on assignments that had us creating our own businesses, but we were also introduced to a large reading list of inspirational books, and perhaps most importantly we encouraged to contin
Sep 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Zappos' CEO Tony Hsieh has some interesting things to say about business. In Delivering Happiness, a book that is part memoir and part business development story, Tony shares the lessons he's learned from a lifetime of trying to figure out how to make money and the unexpected places that journey ultimately led him.

The first part of the book covers Tony's personal history, including his first childhood attempts at turning a profit, his college restaurant efforts, and his co-founding of LinkExchan
Shannon *Eboni Scarlett* Holliday
I am absolutely blown away by this book! Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) the CEO of Zappos spoke to my passion to encourage businesses to forefront and drive customer service within their organizational culture which essentially is the brand. This book makes clear the importance of running a business from the bottom to top as opposed to the traditional iron clad top to bottom structure. By sharing with the world the cohesion that existed between Tony, colleagues and employees within the company thr ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
The power of storytelling. Definitely one of the most influential book on organization building. The story of Zappos and the path to happiness is something I was able to relate to in terms of culture building.

I came across Zappos years ago when I was reading this HBR book on Uncommon Service. That book was an eye opener for me. This book took me into what went in to build that culture. The evolution of what is today known as Zappos culture handbook is a fascinating store of ascension.

The first s
Jan 28, 2021 rated it liked it
An amazing start of the book ends in an utterly mind numbing ending. 5 stars for the first half, one star for whatever the second half was, averaged to be 3.

Tony sounds like an amazing person in the first half, I just didn’t really care for Zappos. I wanted to know more about the man himself.
Chad Warner
May 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: college graduates, entrepreneurs, businesspeople
Recommended to Chad by: Dean Whittaker
This isn’t your typical “follow these steps for business success” book. Tony Hsieh, CEO of, tells the story of his life (so far), with many lessons mixed in. I found Hsieh’s story as entertaining as many fictional stories I’ve read, and I felt enlightened and motivated by his insights on business and life. Hsieh explains how Zappos came to achieve its purpose: delivering happiness to employees, customers, and vendors. The main takeaway: experiences and relationships make people happie ...more
Loy Machedo
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I remember when the book ‘Twilight’ was out.
You know – Twilight, that werewolf, vampire and girly romantic book?

Now please, before you insult my pea-sized intelligence by assuming that I purchased this book to read it – Let me remind you, I am NOT a lover of fictional material.
In fact – I HATE fiction!
That too, nonsensical, childish, immature love stories.

So, as I was saying,
When the book ‘Twilight’ was out, my ex-girl friend - who in fact never the slightest inclination to read even a 1 pag
Wow, I loved this book! I've probably had it since it first came out in 2010, but finally decided to try the first chapter since I've been reading a lot of fiction lately and thought it was time for some non-fiction. I was surprised that it immediately became hard to put down. The first part is mostly autobiographical, and Tony Hsieh shares several enjoyable and humorous stories about various entrepreneurial enterprises he got involved in in his youth to make money. He also covers starting LinkE ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The book is in 3 parts.

In the first part (Profits) Tony writes about his life, how since his childhood he has always had a business oriented mindset (trying to build a worms factory, for example!) and later on how as a teenager went through different interests and experiences.
I loved how he could get lessons out of every experience. That’s what experiences are made for.
It’s not important which experiences you go through… for Tony was playing poker and going to rave parties, for someone else can
Jay Baron
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first dabble into the world of feel-good hippie business books. I've heard a lot of good things about Zappos, and since I've recently been trying to drive a higher purpose into my own customer service career I figured it may be a good time to start checking into some of these motivational / inspirational reads.

That said, I've got a good sense for BS and this book passes the test as being direct and honest, much better than I was expecting. The CEO's stories begin like an autobiography, detail
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading about the story of Tony Hsieh and Zappos here more than anywhere else because of the way he tells the story. He openly admits he's not the perfect writer, but I definitely agree with some other reviewers here that it makes the story seem much more personable and believable. Although there were some positions he maintains I disagree with, the fact-of-the-matter way he talks about his background and his eventual work with Zappos makes him seem like a person who really is striving ...more
Manoj M J
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a great start to 2017
This book is an uncensored, unadulterated account of how Tony Hsieh built LinkExchange, sold it to Microsoft and went on to head Zappos as CEO and then sold it to Amazon.

I completely loved this book. There are a lot of takeaways - especially on how to build an open and transparent culture at a company, how to manage finances when the economy is down and a lot of other nitty gritty and fun parts of running a startup.

But I what I really liked about this book is how Tony j
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Entrepreneur Book...: Delivering Happiness - November, 2017 1 21 Nov 05, 2017 09:03AM  
Symbid Book Club: What can we learn from the Zappos story? 1 3 Sep 30, 2015 08:58AM  

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In 1999, at the age of twenty-four, Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) sold LinkExchange, the company he cofounded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos as an adviser and investor, and eventually became CEO. He helped Zappos grow from almost nothing to over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually, while simultaneously making Fortune magazine’s annual “Best Places to Work For” list ...more

Articles featuring this book

A big goal for the book is to spread the message that it is possible to make employees and customers happy and drive profits and long-term...
12 likes · 11 comments
“Happiness is really just about four things: perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness (number and depth of your relationships), and vision/meaning (being part of something bigger than yourself).” 51 likes
“Money alone isn't enough to bring happiness . . . happiness [is] when you're actually truly ok with losing everything you have.” 47 likes
More quotes…