Saturday, March 03, 2012

Book Review - Delivering Happiness

Today's book review is on Delivering Happiness - A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, CEO, Inc.

Tony Hsieh has been a successful entrepreneur twice.  His first company, Link Exchange, was sold for $250 million and his second company,, was sold to for $1.2 billion.  An qualitative summary of his experiences and values that led to success. Although he touches on business challenges, he doens't spend much of the book providing in depth details on the challenges and how they were solved.
Instead, Mr. Hsieh spends most of the book sharing how he focused on creating a culture and corporate values that are the essence of

Here were a couple of values that resonated with me:

  • Provide amazing customer service.  Zappos' goal is to provide the best customer service and customer experience.  While many companies say they value customer service, I have not experienced the level that Tony shares in his book.  The book provides some outstanding examples of customer service that are beyond expectations.  
  • Hire people that embrace the company culture.  I fully agree with this one.  This is a tough standard to maintain as a company grows and the founders cannot interview every candidate.  The solution was to create a company culture book and offer new hires that don't meet the stand a payment of $2000 to leave the company. 
Tony does provide examples of tough strategic choices he made (e.g. locating warehouses in Kentucky and relocating the company to Las Vegas.   However, most of his book focuses on culture, values and how his previous experiences helped.   More details on how this approach enabled better operational and strategic choices would have made the book a better learning tool.  While I did enjoy the book and agree with his perspectives on customer service and company values, I would have liked some more details on the challenges of making these the foundation as the company grew.

For more on  Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

This is not financial or business advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2012 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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