Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, tells his autobiographical story in his book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. Delivering Happiness offers an inside look at the passion, culture, and happiness that’s the driving force for success, as Tony chronicles his personal life story and that of his company, Zappos.com.
The Early Years
From the start of child hood, Tony had an entrepreneurial mindset starting many successful ventures. Throughout his high school and college years at Harvard, Tony details how his business mindset began taking real shape. Upon graduation, Tony and a friend started his first highly profitable start-up company, LinkXChange, which churned in millions.
The Pursuit Of Happiness
After growing LinkXChange to a million-dollar enterprise, Tony, unsure what to do, started investing in stocks and playing poker in Las Vegas. After a few months, he realized rather quickly that gambling was not what made him happy. It was the thrill of creating a business that truly fueled his inspiration.
With Big Risk You Need A Big Rock
The second part of the book details the tremendous risks and bipolar ups and downs of creating Zappos.com. Tony details the tremendous effort in times of sheer uncertainty it took to make the business successful. For many months and years, Zappos was on the brink of financial collapse, and while times proved uncertain and challenging, it was the creation of the company’s 10 core values that anchored the company, acting as the skeletal rock that made Zappos rise above the rest. The core values, which still remain an integral part of the company today are:
- Deliver Wow Through Service
- Embrace and Drive Change
- Create Fun and a little Weirdness
- Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
- Pursue Growth and Learning
- Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
- Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
- Do More with Less
- Be Passionate and Determined
- Be Humble
Business Super Glue
While the company continued to accelerate, Tony knew that financial stability to pad rapid growth was critical. In the later section of the book, Tony documents the strategic thinking, PR tips and public speaking techniques he used to help solidify Zappos’ future success, leading to the company’s ultimate merger with Amazon. In the final chapter, End Game, Tony describes how to deliver happiness to customers and to yourself to succeed in any venture that you take on. It’s ultimately these philosophies that have made Zappos Fortune Magazine’s 25 Best Companies To Work For.
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