Book by Tony Hsieh
Reviewed by Alexandra Bocon
Issue 7 Spring 2011
Finding a company that promotes creative thinking from all employees, boasts a lower than average employee turnover rate, and grosses over a billion dollars annually is almost unheard of in this current economy. It is even more unheard of to have the CEO of such a company write a book unlocking the secrets of how anyone could achieve this success. However, this is exactly what Tony Hseih did in his book Delivering Happiness.
Written in Hseih’s own words in a conversation-like style, the book takes the reader through the author’s early career pursuits including graduating from Harvard, acquiring a highly sought after position at the business software and hardware systems company Oracle, and creating and operating the internet company LinkExchange. Hseih later sold LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265 million dollars in 1999.
Yet, Hseih’s greatest and continual accomplishment is the development as CEO of the Internet shoe company Zappos.com. Throughout the book Hseih inspires with personal growth stories as well as vignettes of Hseih’s struggles to turn a profit with a few passionate, committed employees. The most inspiring aspect of the book is Hseih’s constant commitment to making Zappos.com a better company by defining the company’s core values and its culture. These two defining aspects place Zappos.com as a customer-first company where employees conduct and live these same core values in their every day lives.
Through Hseih’s constant pursuit of both customer and employee centric business, Zappos.com has grown in importance and value so that on July 22, 2009 the company was acquired by Amazon for approximately 1.2 billion dollars. Since the selling of Zappos.com, Hseih has traveled the country as a speaker encouraging all entrepreneurs to pursue their own ideas and passions. He speaks to the power of encouraging ideas from all employees in order to grow and transform your company while simultaneously providing transparency with your customers for continual customer loyalty.