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

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

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...

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Title:Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Author:Tony Hsieh
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Edition Language:English

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

  • Otis Chandler

    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

    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 your job as much as your personal life.

    Tony lays out a framework for how he personally has used happiness to create a very unique and successful culture at Zappos - and how he personally came to that conclusion in his own life.

    I heard Tony Hsieh speak several years ago, and from that had one key takeaway: that instead of spending marketing dollars acquiring customers, just have mind-blowing WOWingly good customer service - and your product will spread naturally - as people will tell their friends about their good experiences. It's harder to calculate the ROI, but it's something that makes a lot of sense, and we've definitely incorporated it into Goodreads.

    Tony's Happiness frameworks has four pieces:

    1. Perceived control: people need to be in control over their own fate. At Zappos reps can earn up to 20 different skill sets or "badges", and each one represents a pay raise. It's up to the employee how much money they want to make.

    2. Perceived progress: nobody likes to feel like they aren't going anywhere. At Zappos they give smaller raises every 6 months instead of bigger ones annually.

    3. Connectedness. Studies show that engaged employees are more productive, and the number of good friends an employee has at work is correlated with how engaged the employee is. I found this one most interesting.

    4. Vision/Meaning/High Purpose. People need to believe in something bigger than themselves. The book

    discusses how the truly great companies in terms of long term financial performance are those with higher purposes beyond making money. This I do believe, which is why on the Goodreads

    page our mission is stated as "to get people excited about reading".

    Other things I learned about Tony that were interesting:

    - Tony walked away from $20 million dollars because he didn't want to waste a year being miserable working for Microsoft.

    - Tony spent every cent he made from the $265 million LinkExchange acquisition in keeping Zappos afloat. Again - admirable.

    Things I learned about Zappos that were interesting:

    - The

    actually help the company quite a lot, as they've made believing in their core values a core value.

    - The Core values are the way to keep the culture strong, because they are guidelines for people hiring to keep the desired qualities and traits. Each core value has different interview questions, and employees try to gauge new candidates on each value using these questions.

    - Zappos believes so much in it's culture that Tony created a program to teach other companies how it did it - called Zappos Insights.

    - Zappos built a culture book filled with stories of employees describing what each of the core values means to them regarding the company. This makes the company feel like a big family.

  • Yodamom

    Audiobook

    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

    Audiobook

    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 of the most resistance with Mr. Hsieh and friends. Inspirational ? heck yeh this book is good for the developing mind and opens the mind to dreams of what could be.

    The epilogue is not to be missed, stay till the end.

  • Korrina  (OwlCrate)

    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.

  • Ryan Kent

    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'.

    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'.

    Regardless, I feel the 'going for broke' mentality he portrayed is not something to aspire to - and is more akin to seeing someone win the lottery after buying a million tickets and thinking 'hey, he's a genius!' - and trying to do the same.

    Don't get me wrong - Hsieh defiantly made Zappos into what it is, and I love the start-up, entrepreneurial attitude...I just don't think his story is very inspirational, and people are in awe of him because of the halo effect of the Zappos sale.

  • Patti

    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. In a time when many people are anything but happy in their workplaces, I found the book to be more of a guide to start a Fraternity, except without any mention of drugs and a

    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. In a time when many people are anything but happy in their workplaces, I found the book to be more of a guide to start a Fraternity, except without any mention of drugs and alcohol. For real, you can’t have a whole section about how great Raves are without mentioning Ecstasy. 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 baring the importance of ‘culture’ into business. It seems to me that trying to hire people you want to be friends with would eventually result in group think. It’s hard to argue, though, when Hsieh has millions of dollars and I have dozens of dollars. From my experience, though, the amount of stress a company puts on how much fun they have, the less fun they are in reality.

    I’ve read that newer generations are less engaged with their jobs as a lifestyle and place family and friends first, not really mixing the two. I wonder how these attitudes will mesh with the intense, “Your coworkers are your family now” philosophies. I much rather have a professional, structured work environment, with a product that I understand and believe in, and make money equal to the amount of energy I put forth.

    I did take some good away:

    1) Hsieh’s story makes you realize how much you should support the Entrepreneurial spirit in kids. I was always trying to start businesses as a kid, so it was funny to hear about his trial and errors.

    2) I love the theory of giving people a two grand out if they quit after the initial training. Not every job is the right fit for everyone.

    3) The idea of call centers being treated as a valid business careers. No call times, no scripts, but instead hiring and training people to do their jobs professionally.

    4) Building a pipeline of talent – having clear paths of how you can grow professionally.

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