Delivering Happiness

Delivering Happiness, by the CEO of Zappos Tony Hsiesh, isn't just about Zappos. It's actually a life philosophy thats enshrined and exemplified through Zappos. Tony narrates his life from being an asian kid to the CEO of a billion dollar company.

The stories are pretty entertaining and are in a very conversationalist tone. There is one story where Tony's asian parents tell him that he needs to become a doctor (Very True!), but instead Tony wants to grow a worm farm. Reluctantly, Tony's parents fund the venture only to have it fail, but hey he's a ten year old kid. Each venture becomes a little more successful, until he starts LinkExchange.

LinkExchange was an advertising network like Yahoo in the late 90s which sold to Microsoft for $200 some million. The book details a few executive decisions like how to recruit, why he had to lay people off, etc. But the most interesting thing was what happened when he finally sold the company to Microsoft. Tony simply wanted to sell and leave the company. He was sick and tired of working because something was wrong. Unsure what it was, but it was something.

A few years later, Tony figured it out. The culture of the company sucked his soul. He woke up every morning pushing the snooze button on his alarm instead of being excited to go to work. Thus he joined Zappos with the primary goal of building and creating something different. The motivation wasn't money - it didn't bring happiness. Instead, it was to find a purpose. Slowly, over the course of a decade, Zappos has created a culture that is just a joy to even read about. You can read all about their culture here.

The weirdest part is, that while I was reading the book, I had sudden urges to buy everything from Zappos, work for Zappos, and spread the word about how awesome they are. Tony, through his book, made me happier and made me think about what I want not just in a career, but also life in general. It's a fantastic book, get it.