Episode#46 – Delivering Happiness

Delivering Happiness

by Tony Hsieh


The book in one sentence

Life (and work) is about making others – and yourself, of course – happy.


My personal opinion

Okay, okay, I know you can’t hear it anymore – it is one more of my favourite books (my Top 10 list looks more like a Top 20, but pssst!)

Delivering Happiness is the story about Tony Hsieh and the famous online shoe retailer Zappos.com. The book covers Tony Hsieh’s entire life until Zappos.com was acquired by Amazon for more than $1 billion. At this time, every newspaper picked this up as a headline and talked about the money people got from this deal. But already in the preface you will get a first impression of Tony Hsieh’s mindset and the attitude which runs through the book like a golden thread: “To all of us in the room, we knew it wasn’t just about the money. Together, we had build a business that combined profits, purpose and passion. And we knew it wasn’t just about building a business. It was about building a lifestyle that was about delivering happiness to everyone, including ourselves.”

For me, Delivering Happiness is a role model and blueprint of entrepreneurship in the 21st century!


To whom I would recommend this book

This is one of the books which is on the one hand so entertaining, that you want to read it in one sitting, and on the other hand so informative, that you have to make regular breaks to think about how you can use all these ideas for your own life and work.


What I learned from this book

  • Focus early on your company culture: why are you doing what you are doing? With whom you want to do it? How has the company culture to be, that you want to wake up every day even before your alarm clock rings?
  • Stop chasing the money, chase the passion and have fun.
  • “Your ‘brand’ is important.”
  • Read books and gather best practices from people who did it (what you want to do) before. Combine theory and your own practical experience. Never stop being curious about new things and learning. Share your own learnings with others.
  • Accept that there is always someone better than you.
  • “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • As a company, never outsource your core competency.
  • “Looking back, a big reason we hit our goal early was that we decided to invest our time, money and resources into three key areas: customer service (which would build our brand and drive word of mouth), culture (which would lead to the formation of our core values), and employee training and development (which would eventually lead to the creation of our pipeline team).”
  • “Too many companies think of their call centers as an expense to minimise. We believe that it’s a huge untapped opportunity for most companies, not only because it can result in word of mouth marketing, but because of its potential to increase the lifetime value of the customer.”
  • Try to maximise customer experience, not the efficiency of other tasks and processes. Create a WOW-experience which your customers will remember for a long time and tell their family and friends.
  • “Ask yourself: how do you plan and prepare for change? Do you view new challenges optimistically? Do you encourage and drive change? How do you encourage more change to be driven from the bottom up?”
  • Encourage people to make mistakes as long as they learn from them.
  • “If you have more than 3 priorities then you don’t have any.” – Jim Collins


Want to read this book?

Check it out on Amazon.com – Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh



Thanks to the publisher for printing such a great book!

Grand Central Publishing