Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Delivering Happiness

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and PurposeI haven't bought a book in a few years, thanks to the wonderful Santa Monica library system.  I'm a pretty avid reader and I've been reading a lot lately, more than ever before.  While I've read a quite a few good books, I've never felt the need to go out and buy a book that I borrowed...until now.  I just finished "Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose" by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.  It might sound like a boring business book (and I've read lots of those), but I found it funny, insightful and inspiring.  It's a book I actually want to read again, with many sections that I will constantly refer back to.   It's about his successes and failures as an entrepreneur since childhood, culminating with the story of how he built Zappos to be what it is today: a market-leading, uniquely customer-centric online retailer.  It's very different from the usual business book; perhaps it's a generational / cultural thing, but I can really identify with and relate to Tony.   His childhood, brought up by Taiwanese parents in California, is very familiar to me; I remember the dot-com era boom and bust like it was yesterday, and I love entrepreneurial stories.  He shares lots of funny, quirky and interesting anecdotes in a very open and honest way.  He's very inspirational: incredibly smart and entrepreneurial, but still comes off as a normal guy, always remaining true to himself.  You definitely don't have to be a business person to read the book; I think the life lessons in the book are interesting to everyone.

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