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Book Synopsis: Delivering Happiness

Posted: August 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.

“Delivering Happiness”
A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Tony Hsieh

The visionary CEO of Zappos, Tony Hseih, explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success.

Pay new employees $2,000 to quit; make customer service the entire company, not just a department; focus on company culture as the No. 1 priority; apply research from the science of happiness to running a business; help employees grow both personally and professionally; seek to change the world; oh, and make money too.

Sound crazy? It’s all standard-operating procedure at, the online retailer that’s bringing in more than $1 billion of gross merchandise sales every year.

In 1999, Hsieh (pronounced Shay) sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos as an adviser and investor, and eventually became CEO.

In 2009, Zappos was listed as one of Fortune magazine’s top 25 companies to work for, and was acquired by Amazon later that year in a deal valued at more than $1.2 billion on the day of closing.

In his first book, Hseih shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business to LinkExchange, Zappos and more. Ultimately, he shows how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life.

“Hsieh offers a compelling account of his transformation from callow Harvard student entrepreneur to the creator of a formidable brand. As the funding for his incubator companies dries up and one of his most promising startups, a shoe retailer called, seems doomed, Hsieh blossoms into a mature businessperson, slashing expenses and presciently making customer service the essence of the company’s brand. The story becomes suspenseful as Hsieh recounts the stress of operating in survival mode, liquidating his assets to fund the company in its darkest days and seeking out an 11th-hour loan,” — Publishers Weekly


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