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The visionary CEO of Zappos explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success.
Pay new employees $2000 to quit. Make customer service the entire company, not just a department. Focus on company culture as the #1 priority. Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business. Help employees grow both personally and professionally. Seek to change the world. Oh, and make money too.
Sound crazy? It's all standard operating procedure at Zappos.com, the online retailer that's doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales every year.
In 1999, Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos as an adviser and investor, and eventually became CEO.
In 2009, Zappos was listed as one of Fortune magazine's top 25 companies to work for, and was acquired by Amazon later that year in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing.
In his first book, Tony shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Ultimately, he shows how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life. (edited by author)
Amazon Exclusive Author Q&A with Tony Hsieh, Author of Delivering Happiness
1. In the book you say, "I've been an entrepreneur for most of my life." Do you think people are born entrepreneurs or do they become them?
I think usually by the time you're 12 years old, you either have the entrepreneurial spirit or you don't. I would describe the entrepeneurial spirit as a combination of creativity and optimisim.2. Could you name one particular experience that inspired you to create a company devoted to customer happiness?
For me, it's really been driven by daily examples of bad customer service in my everyday personal life.3. Was the worm farm really the invaluable catalyst for forming your business and life philosophy?
My parents tell me that as a kid I was always trying to come up with different business ideas. The idea of starting a worm farm is my earliest memory of a business idea.4. You say that you have always been an avid book reader. What are your favorite books? Which non-business book helped you grow professionally?
1:106. You describe your way to happiness starting with profits, then going through passion and finally getting to purpose. Is that the only path to business happiness?
No, that was just the path that I happened to take. Part of the purpose of the book is to help other entrepreneurs and business owners shortcut the process and encourage them to go straight to combining profits, passion, and purpose.7. You seem to have taken risks with business ideas a lot while growing up. How do you recognize a risk that you shouldn't take?
I think it just comes down to really breaking down what the worst case scenario actually is. For most of us, we're lucky to live in a time and in a society where we aren't actually ever in danger of dying from starvation or lack of shelter. Most of us have friends whose couches we can crash on in the worst case scenario, so any "risk" we take in starting a company isn't actually that big a risk.
Five stars don't do justice to this book. A true inspiration for every business person.Published 7 days ago by Gil Li-ran
A great business learning book. Tony's ideas need to be incorporated in all businesses!!Published 14 days ago by Bluesssman
Great book! I enjoyed the insights and interesting history (stories) from the founding of Zappos. I'm an every bigger fan of Zappos now.Published 17 days ago by Jeffrey A. Schutzler
Great book. It's well written, humorous, and very interesting. The book does a great job of identifying the importance of culture within and organization, and all relationships... Read morePublished 19 days ago by B. Hall
I promised a friend who gave me this book that I would read it, or else I wouldn’t have gotten far. I found the first part of this book slightly interesting, though tedious... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Zeno
This is a really great book. Companies today throw away culture as an afterthought when it should be a top priority. Read morePublished 26 days ago by KurtS
Sometimes the emails included got Lengthy but once you pass that part the greatest surprise and opening is at the end awaiting you. Don't give up on it early!Published 28 days ago by Anas Najjar
Excellent book! Tony has changed the approach of corporate work culture through his revolutionary culture at zappos! I recommend to everyone!Published 1 month ago by asok
My favorite part was the summary of current happiness research at the end. I love that Tony Hsieh cares about his employees' quality of life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by HH