Delivering Happiness: Book Review

I just received the monthly newsletter Small Business Matters from Tim Fulton, my former Vistage chair.  I loved his book review on Tony Hsieh’s book:  Delivering Happiness – as it relates to the work we do with clients and our philosophy about business.  I asked Tim for permission to publish his review.  Happy Reading!

Delivering Happiness written by Tony Hsieh

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

Two weeks ago I ordered a pair of nice dress shoes online from Zappos. The shoes arrived almost the next day. How convenient. I didn’t have to get in the car and visit the mall or some big retail box store. Several clicks and I was done.

I opened the shoe box and noticed immediately that they were the wrong color. Brown instead of black. Great news! I was now going to be able to test their highly touted customer service reputation. I called the 1-800 number and was astonished as I was almost immediately in touch with a service rep. She was friendly, very apologetic, and ready to take care of the problem. The new shoes would be at my door step the next day. She asked me to return the old shoes at my convenience and the shipping label was emailed to me within the hour. What an experience!

It was this experience that triggered my desire to read the story behind Zappos, “Delivering Happiness” written by their CEO Tony Hsieh. This is a great book that details Hsieh’s rise from a serial entrepreneur in high school to the CEO of one of the largest online retailers in the world with over $1 billion in annual revenues. Hsieh sold the company to Amazon last year for $1.2 billion and continues to serve as CEO.

In the book, author Tony Hsieh shares the lessons he has learned in business and in life. Here are several of my favorites:

  • Pay brand new employees $2000 to quit
  • Focus on company culture as a #1 priority
  • Help employees grow both personally and professionally
  • Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company and not just one department
  • It’s possible to be happy, create happiness, and build a world-class company


For more information about Small Business Matters and Tim Fulton:

Tim Fulton, Vistage Group Chair
“Dedicated to Increasing the Effectiveness and Enhancing the Lives of CEOs” 

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