Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh4 min read

Published by Zach on

Rating: 8/10

What’s more important: company culture or company profits? The founder of Zappos says, culture, by a wide margin.

Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos, seems to always be excelling. He started a profitable button-making business in middle school. A profitable Pizza joint while studying at Harvard, and, at age 25, sold a business to microsoft for $265 million.

So Tony definitely has the credibility, but how are his writing skills? Could he transmute everything behind a billion-dollar business, Zappos, into a book? No. No one could. But he came close.

What I Learned

Over the 255 pages I learned some important lessons, “stop chasing the money, and start chasing the passion,”

Don’t focus on generating buzz, instead focus on building engagement and trust.

Be passionate. Tell personal stories. Be real.

At one point he relates business to the game of poker.

Table selection is the most important decision you can make. It’s okay to switch tables if you discover it’s too hard to win at your table. If there are too many competitors (some irrational or inexperienced), even if you’re the best it’s a lot harder to win.

Tony Hsieh

Picking the thing to focus on, your “niche,” is vitally important. You must be confident here. This is the defining factor of whatever venture you will run.

He makes all these points in relation to his life, selling businesses, throwing ragers in a penthouse, and making lifelong friends.

However, the main point of the book, the “pillars,” are the core principles.

These are the principles set forth for every Zappos employee, of which the founder of Zappos spends 40% of the book talking about, here are the rules:

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous , Creative , and Open – Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More with Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

He ends the book by telling us to ask ourselves a few questions

Are you working toward maximizing your happiness each day? What is the net effect of your existence on the total amount of happiness in the world each day? What are your values? What are you passionate about? What inspires you? What is your goal in life? What are your company’s values? What is your company’s higher purpose? What is your higher purpose?

Tony Hsieh

So get learning, start creating, start failing, and start building happiness.

-Zach

Quotes I liked:

  • I made a list of the happiest periods in my life, and I realized that none of them involved money. I realized that building stuff and being creative and inventive made me happy. Connecting with a friend and talking through the entire night until the sun rose made me happy.
  • Footwear was a $40 billion industry in the United States, and 5 percent of that was already being done by paper mail – order catalogs. It was also the fastest – growing segment of the industry.
  • In business, one of the most important decisions for an entrepreneur or a CEO to make is what business to be in. It doesn’t matter how flawlessly a business is executed if it’s the wrong business or if it’s in too small a market. Imagine if you were the most efficient manufacturer of seven – fingered gloves. You offer the best selection , the best service, and the best prices for seven – fingered gloves — but if there isn’t a big enough market for what you sell, you won’t get very far. Or, if you decide to start a business that competes directly against really experienced competitors such as Wal – Mart by playing the same game they play ( for example , trying to sell the same goods at lower prices ), then chances are that you will go out of business .
  • “Envision, create, and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you, ” she said softly. “ Just like what you did tonight.” She leaned over and whispered.
  • Are you working toward maximizing your happiness each day? What is the net effect of your existence on the total amount of happiness in the world each day? What are your values? What are you passionate about? What inspires you? What is your goal in life? What are your company’s values? What is your company’s higher purpose? What is your higher purpose?

Categories: Book Notes

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