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Editorial Reviews

Tony Hsieh is a really nice guy. This is what makes him a very unusual CEO, which is what makes his company so interesting. It also makes him a writer who doesn't use much corporate lingo, and a terrifically casual reader of his own book on the growth and development of Zappos, his unique company. One part memoir, one part philosophy, one part corporate handbook, and all silly optimism, Delivering Happiness will appeal to a surprisingly wide audience.

Hsieh begins with his business history, which adequately conveys his wackiness. First, there was the worm farm in elementary school. All the worms escaped, and he lost money. Then there was the mail order button business in middle school, so successful that he passed it along to his younger brothers in succession. In high school, he learned a bunch about programming, thereby combining his instincts with an appropriate knowledge base. He laughs out loud at his own computer club lunchtime antics, and so will you. Then there was the pizza business in his dorm at Harvard, where Hsieh found innovative ways not to attend any classes, and a high-paying corporate gig after graduation where he once again did as little as possible.

This is a man who likes to take business risks, and as he explains how he made decisions that caused him to grow from slacker into a Red Bull-pounding, 24-hour working machine, you'll be amazed that it sounds like he's smiling the entire time. From his first major start-up, which was subsequently sold to Microsoft, to his repeated close calls where Zappos almost went under before it was eventually bought out by Amazon, this true story of one man's corporate odyssey will leave you believing that anything really is possible. It will also at least make you want to shop at Zappos, if it doesn't make you want to move to as Vegas to work there.

Shot through with brief guest-narrations using the actual participants relevant to Hsieh's fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, there are a wealth of memos, emails, and testimonials that all serve as evidence to his weird intellect. And if you played a drinking game where you drank a shot every time Hsieh mentions having a drink, you'd be drunk before the book is half finished. From the tone of his voice to the story he tells, this is clearly a guy who needs his work to be fun and challenging. Just as Zappos has done, Hsieh's book casually fires the opening volley in a new era of corporate culture and management.

This eye-opening treatise on how to be happy at work has the added bonus of an hour-long conversation between Tony Hsieh and Warren Bennis, who has been universally considered one of the most significant leadership gurus for the past 40 years. Much of what Hsieh says is a more concise version of what he says in the book, though insights from the aging but still hilariously astute Bennis do offer something extra exciting. They discuss happiness in a way that is useful to all people, not just corporations. —Megan Volpert

Publisher's Summary

In this, his first audiobook, Tony Hsieh - the widely admired CEO of Zappos, the online shoe retailer - explains how he created a unique culture and commitment to service that aims to improve the lives of employees, customers, vendors, and backers. Using anecdotes and stories from his own life experiences, and from other companies, Hsieh provides concrete ways that companies can achieve unprecedented success. Even better, he shows how creating happiness and record results go hand-in-hand.

He starts with the "Why" in a section where he narrates his quest to understand the science of happiness. Then he runs through the ten Zappos "Core Values" - such as "Deliver WOW through Service", "Create Fun and A Little Weirdness", and "Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit" - and explains how you and your colleagues should come up with your own.

Hsieh then details many of the unique practices at Zappos that have made it the success it is today, such as their philosphy of allocating marketing money into the customer experience, thereby allowing repeat customers and word-of-mouth be their true form of marketing. He also explains why Zappos's number-one priority is company culture and his belief that once you get the culture right, everything else - great customer service, long-term branding - will happen on its own.

Finally, Delivering Happiness explains how Zappos employees actually apply the Core Values to improving their lives outside of work - and to making a difference in their communities and the world.

©2010 Tony Hsieh (P)2010 Hachette

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Will Graylin
  • 06-12-2010

great book about building a successful culture

i enjoyed hearing Tony's story of entrepreneurship and how he ultimately focused on a true differentiation of culture that delivered great service, but the operative word is culture. Knowing what their purpose is and what their values are. I appreciate the insights Tony shared.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • stephanie
  • 13-10-2010

HAPPINESS DELIVERED!

I try to live my live as pure and honest as I can. About 16 yrs ago, I was tagged with the name 'stephanoopieville' because all things are wonderful in the "world" I have created for me. Sure I don't have lots of money, but I am successful at raising my family, I have good neighbors, my kids know what is important in life: honesty, love, enjoy and appreciate what you have, and that is just what this book's core values are based on. With that, happiness follows and that is priceless. So, I may not have the dollars in my pocket or the bank, but I am endlessly rich in happiness and so is my family. This book shares that happiness and it was very inspirational to read. The "little bit of weird" makes me smile, even now, because I can relate directly. THANK YOU TONY! I HOPE THAT YOU AND THE REST OF US THAT WANT TO SPREAD YOUR CULTURE BRING HAPPINESS TO ALL THOSE LIVES THAT WE TOUCH ~ONE STEP, ONE LIFE, AT A TIME ****

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 20-09-2010

Inspiring tale of competency

A fascinating tale of the life of Tony Hsieh and the birth of zappos. The section on the company is great information for anyone wanting to build a great company or organisation. An inspiring read coupled with great insight from an awesome business leader. The book is read by the author and is not exactly polished, but in this instance I didn't find it detracted from the listening experience, it actually made it sound a bit more genuine. Great buy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lucas Rockwood
  • 05-09-2010

Interesting Story - With a Grain of Salt

This is a very interesting story of startup success, but very much a fluke. Seeing as tons of entrepreneurs are reading this books, the big danger is to try to model Hsieh's strategy to find success themselves. While I truly believe that customer service is the future of sales and vitally important, it's important to remember that Zappos was nearly bankrupt multiple times and if not for linkexchange cash, it would never have been. Happiness didn't save the business. Seed money did. Not a criticism in any way, but an important thing to note... you can't happy your way to success alone. You need a solid business model and cash.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • 01-09-2010

Great content. Persevere with the narration!

When I first started listening to this I wasn't sure how I would go with the narration because Tony is so low-key it takes a bit to get into his vibe. However - once he gets going with the content it is without doubt one of the best business books on the market. In the end you just love that this guy is all substance and no hype. Tony is a true business gem - don't let his humility deceive you. This guy has a fierce intellect and inspiring view of the world. I loved, loved, loved this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alicia
  • 25-08-2010

Inspiring

Loved this book. Easy to listen to (I'm Aussie so was worried about the US accent). Lost a bit of momentum near the end I think, but in all a great read and I am left feeling inspired.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pablo
  • 20-08-2010

Truly excellent inspiring book

If you are looking for an inspiring book, you’ve found it. The narration, by the author himself, is also excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabio
  • 09-08-2010

Revolutionary

As a senior executive I am trying to find creative ways to match happiness with business needs. Tony tells the story of how this is possible, in practical and actionable details, with humor and the authority coming from putting all this in practice in "his" company, Zappos.
I strongly recommend this to anyone who wants to listen to a good story about life and happiness, and if you're also in business and want to change the rules so that a more human environment welcomes you in your office, do listen to this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eric Woodard
  • 02-08-2010

Really excellent

I knew a little about Zappos and a little about Tony Hsieh before listening to this one - but I know a lot more after...and found all the information here really interesting. It is no surprise to me that Tony Hsieh has met with so much success - he's a really dynamic smart guy and it was a pleasure to hear him narrate this excellent book he's written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 29-07-2010

Sterling Account of a Real Sil Valley Legend

Tony Hsiem is a guy running a billion dollar company with the heart and tone of a best friend you just launched a startup with.

His honesty is disarming and his insight is priceless. Although history may show both LinkExchange and Zappos to be beneficiaries of right place right time Tony's analysis of his journey reveals the greater truths he's collectively discovered along the road on the Tech Boom - Bust - New Rationalization.

The book tracks his story and businesses in the frame of his search for "happiness" as a universal goal we all share. Chapter 7 and 8 back up the anecdotes and allegory preceding them with some pop insights into the nascent science of "happiness" and how you can apply that science to improve your business and life in meaningful ways.

Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melanie Harris
  • 21-07-2015

Happiness delivers high performance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Absolutely. I spent my early years working in organisations where the style of management was bullying and sexual harassment. I remember being so stressed I would vomit in the toilet before going into to work. I now spend my time delivering high performance training to build behaviours in leaders, managers and teams to create productive, empowered and happy teams. I love how zappos have turned this into a living working example of success.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tony Hsieh

Which character – as performed by Tony Hsieh – was your favourite?

Himself

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Inspired and motivated

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vernon
  • 05-06-2015

excellent book. It's well worth a read

This book is far from just another business book. It's a great story about how to build worthwhile cultures in an organisation.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Aleksej
  • 26-05-2015

Thank You!

Thank you Tony for amazing insights into Zappos, ad well as your own brain, thoughts and feelings. Thank you for reading it yourself - that gave a powerful twist to this audio. Just one thing Tony for you to improve next time - you are passionate guy... so, why not to read it with passion, excitement and laughter :) felt a bit emotionless at times, especially when you were talking about highly emotional and funny stories. Thank you for the great book. Alex

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Will
  • 12-05-2015

Bloody marvellous

Best book of its kind I've listened to. Really get a feel of Tony's personality and how it's shaped Zappos

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chantalle Coombes
  • 29-04-2015

Not to be missed

fabulous book.everyone in business should read it. Can't wait to implement the nuggets in my business

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 18-03-2015

Inspiring

It's great to hear the voice of the author. Tony transmits so much from the tone & style of his narration, about how he really is.
Trying inspiring book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • RB.
  • 03-03-2015

Brilliant Book

A must read for people running a start up or an established business. This book lives up to its title and most certainly changed my opinion of company cultures and work environment. It's read by the author which gives it a real personal touch. The additional chapter/interview at the end of the book with Tony is very entertaining and inspiring.

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  • Gemma
  • 06-02-2015

Inspirational

Loved this book. I'm already a big believer in doing what you love and loving what you do and the return a positive culture in the workplace has on the bottom line. Totally inspirational and already recommended many times over to friends and family.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Leighton
  • 24-01-2015

required reading for entrepreneurs, employees....

...and people

Zappos' model, culture and customer focus is the model all business should adopt.

I will be in my business!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr P R Gott
  • 09-08-2014

Stands out from the crown; creating unique culture

Would you consider the audio edition of Delivering Happiness to be better than the print version?

Haven't read print version

What was one of the most memorable moments of Delivering Happiness?

delivering WOW - getting an insight into unique thinking and unique culture.

Have you listened to any of Tony Hsieh’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Great sense of well being - want to get involved in delivering happiness movement.

Any additional comments?

I will be getting involved with friends and colleagues.