Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh


I bought this book Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh on March 22, 2011 and knew that it is a good one. Yet, I haven’t read it till now, after 2.5 years. It was a fast read. I completed it in 3 days. What I would say is that I agreed with most of the suggestions and practices at Zappos and I believe that if any companies do those principles, it would yield nothing less than happiness and success. 

What would surprised me the most not the success at Zappos. It was not. What kept me to keep reading was that my partners at KMS (the company I co-founded 4 years ago) and I have implemented many things exactly as Tony suggested (book reading, culture creating, make KMS as a second family rather than a company, find many brothers and sisters in KMS instead of just co-worker,…). And none of us knew about Zappos and the stories once we collectively did it at KMS. 

Amazing to read through the book and just feel like Tony write the principles that we’ve been implementing at KMS :-), except that we’re not in the same business and of course, would need to change the name to call KMS :). Now, we have more confidence at KMS to build a great company, I would say, in the next 5 years. We have 5+ years to get to the 10th anniversary. Not long and not short. Thanks for sharing all of the good things at Zappos and inspire people like me and my partners, brothers and sisters at KMS to do the right thing. Pursue the higher purpose in life.

Below are some real quick notes from reading the book. Thanks once again to Tony and Zappos.

  • “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” —Carlos Castaneda
  • “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” —H. S. Truman
  • When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny. —Bertice Berry
  • The number of good friends an employee has at work is correlated with how engaged that employee is.
  • “In the pursuit of knowledge, something is added every day. In the pursuit of enlightenment, something is dropped every day.” —Lao-tzu
  • Focus on building as our asset a pipeline of people in every single department with varying levels of skills and experience, ranging from entry level all the way up through senior management and leadership positions.
  • I decided early in my career that I would create relationships and opportunities that would stand the test of time, and I was fortunate that I could rely on many of the relationships I’d already built.
  • Another common trap that many marketers fall into is focusing too much on trying to figure out how to generate a lot of buzz, when really they should be focused on building engagement and trust.
  • To keep our culture strong, we wanted to make sure that we only hired people who we would also enjoy hanging out with outside the office.
  • I realized there was something unique about Zappos when I looked around and saw that all of my friends happened to be my co-workers too.
  • Go for positive expected value, not what’s least risky.
  • Ultimately happiness is really just about enjoying life.
  • I made a list of the happiest periods in my life, and I realized that none of them involved money.
  • I’ve also always been an avid book reader. At Zappos, we encourage our employees to read books from our library to help them grow, both personally and professionally. There are many books that have influenced our thinking at Zappos and helped us get to where we are today.

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