Thank you Hachette Book Group for including me in their blogger outreach for Tony Hsieh’s new book, ‘Delivering Happiness.’ (affiliate link) You’ll have to forgive the lack of gorgeous photo but I’m on the road this week and don’t have all the office tools at my disposal. I have an extra book to give away to one lucky Soap Queen reader too! Giveaway details down at the bottom of the review.
I’m a huge fan of Zappos and Tony Hsieh. I’m a happy customer of Zappos. I’ve long admired what they’ve done with their company culture and often wondered aloud to my staff how they could do free shipping and free returns back and forth and stay in business. This book answers a lot of those questions and then some.
If you’re looking for a practical advice, a 1,2,3 step book, this probably isn’t the book for you. If you’re looking for an inspirational, rollicking business experience that reads like an old friend telling stories, this is the book for you.
The book covers starts with Tony’s childhood. He was entrepreneurial from the start and had supportive, loving parents. His parents also had incredibly high standards with a relentless drive of excellence on behalf of their children. Tony told a funny story about how he was forced to practice his musical instruments for four hours a day during the summer. He thwarted his parents plans by putting on a recording of himself and then went and read magazines. He took his entrepreneurial bent mixed with his decidedly out of the box thinking and had quite the college career. Get the book just to learn how he passed his Bible college class. It’s a great idea. For me, the ‘How Tony Became Tony’ portion of the book is the most interesting.
The story about Tony’s post college years – how he grew LinkExchange, turned down buyout offers and eventually sold the company for a cool $265 million reads a bit like a fairytale. It doesn’t go into tons of depth about how the company was built but then again, the book is primarily focused on building Zappos so this part of the book is more like the interlude before the action.
The Zappos story part of the book reads easily and Tony spends the bulk of the time talking about the importance of culture – the key, he believes, to why Amazon eventually purchased Zappos for $1.2 billion dollars. Reading the book made me really hone in on the importance of not only defining your values as a company but making it into a whimsical game, with fun prizes and community building activities. Tony threw raves but you can probably take that down a notch for your organization.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is starting a business, who owns a business or is caught in the doldrums of life and wants an primer for how to think outside the box. You can get your copy of the book at your local bookstore or online at Amazon.
GIVEAWAY! The generous people at Hachette Book Group sent me an extra copy to give away to my blog readers (yay! and thank you!). To “enter” to win, tell me how YOU delivered happiness to someone else in the last month. I’ll randomly draw someone next Tuesday so you have five days to enter. Ready. Set. Go! Deliver Happiness!