Independent Thinking Blog

Zappos CEO on Passion and Happiness

Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness* is a good reminder that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and follow your passion.

Part autobiography, part tale of success-wrought-from-hard-work, part customer service bible, Delivering Happiness is a good read for entrepreneurs and business owners. There are lessons leaned about business models, core competencies, and flexibility. And Zappos’ 10 core values–and how they came about–will hopefully make you pause and assess whether you have identified and articulated your core business values.

What I liked best about Hsieh’s book was the process stuff:

  • Zappos didn’t just identify problems (i.e., “We just don’t have the right products to offer our customers”), but took tough steps to change its business model to become profitable.
  • Hsieh acknowledges mistakes (i.e., “As an e-commerce company, we should have considered warehousing to be our core competency from the beginning. Outsourcing that to a third party… was one of our biggest mistakes.”)
  • Zappos focused on three key areas (customer service, culture, and employee training and development).

If you’re looking for a dry business book, this isn’t the one to buy. But if you’re looking for a quick read, conversational style, and good takeaways, you won’t go wrong with Delivering Happiness.

Want to read Hsieh’s book? The kind Delivering Happiness book team gave me a second copy to give away to one lucky reader. Just tell me in the comments something you’ve done to wow a client or customer. The best answer (deemed by me) wins the book.

*Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for agreeing to review it and post this link–but without any restrictions on what I might say.

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