Zappos – Delivering Happiness

ImageThis was a most interesting read. Written by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, the book takes the reader through the birth of this e-commerce megalith, and all the bumps along the way that nearly made him lose it all. I usually shy away from books like this, but I have always been impressed with Zappos’ notoriously good customer service and heard people tout the staggering difference in their office culture versus your standard corporation.

Tony brings a familiarity to the tale, refusing to let his final version of the book be edited for grammar (which did drive me crazy at times), and promising to tell it straight. I had moments where I hated him for being so unnecessarily extravagant after his initial big DOT COM success that started his entrepreneurial journey off with a cosmic-sized bang. But when you read about all the faith and investment he had in the company, in giving up much of his wealth to support the company in lean days in lieu of laying off employees, the impression certainly shifts.

Tony is clearly proud of his work, his formula for success, and the culture of Zappos that makes them so famous. It is an inspiring read for anyone looking for inspiration in the workplace, and I would encourage managers to pick it up and rethink the way they manage their employees, taking even a single method from the Zappos handbook.

I am also curious to see what will happen in the future of e-commerce. Zappos was purchased by Amazon and I have been reading recently about revolutionary ideas that Amazon is pursuing to achieve day-of shipping. Can you imagine placing an order in the morning and having it appear on your doorstep by the afternoon? The way we do business and make purchases is certainly changing and I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the transformation!

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