Book Review – Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

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When first told about Delivering Happiness I thought it was going to be one of those business books which talks about what you need to do to make your customer’s think they’re happy.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Delivering Happiness is an autobiography about Tony Hsieh and his business ventures.  This book was very enjoyable, with Tony picking apart his triumphs and failures, and ultimately building Zappos and the internal struggles he faced with that company.

This book I would recommend if someone is in for some good light reading.  There are a few good business points in it, such as don’t outsource your business’ core competency and don’t neglect managing your company’s culture, but for the most part its a good story.

From a community style business perspective, I personally found his description of his investors and share holders at the company’s a good cautionary tail.  Having a directing class in a company may create misalignment with the company’s goals (the grand ones put forth as vision statements) and its workers goals.  In this book Tony has one business which he lets go of, through the sale of the business, and one business which he finds a solution to this problem (Zappos).  With Zappos, Tony finds Amazon, who is interested in what the company is doing without wanting to change the company or its culture and absorb it.

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