Delivering Happiness Is A Personal Look At The Zappos Phenomenon

If you see a lot of reviews of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh today, there’s a good reason for it: He planned it that way, offering review copies weeks in advance to bloggers and other folks on the condition they’d review it this week. It’s just one more way this company is connecting with its customers and the online community at large.
Hsieh made money in the early days of the Web building and selling LinkExchange, and in 1999 joined Zappos. Through the boom, bust, and 9/11, Zappos kept going, and Hsieh gives a very personal account of how he did tried to maintain a sense of sanity and his values through troubling times (it’s worth noting that Zappos was not an overnight success). And by building a culture with employee input, turned it into a very big business, having been bought by Amazon.
Zappos is a classic e-commerce business: It doesn’t make anything, it’s simply a reseller of shoes. And anybody who’s ever ordered shoes online knows it’s a crapshoot–the size might be wrong, the fit may be uncomfortable. It’s no secret that something like 35% of Zappos orders get returned. So the big triumph to Zappos is maintaining a high level of customer service through the entire ordering process, which means keeping employees motivated to do the right thing by customers. Hsieh does try to show how happiness and business aren’t mutually exclusive. But one of the biggest lessons you’ll get in Delivering Happiness is that in any company, leadership sets the tone for everyone else. Take a look at where you work and you’ll see it’s true.
Special thanks to Zappos who sent me a review copy.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.