A book that every entrepreneur should read

by Jeff Hilimire on August 24, 2010

Full disclosure, I was never really interested in the Zappos.com story.  I got what Zappos was, but until Amazon forked over $1.2 billion for the company I really didn’t understand the scale that it had gotten to.  Obviously, it was pretty freaking big.

And I had seen their CEO, Tony Hsieh (pronounced “shay”), on Celebrity Apprentice and I’ve seen his tweets, but I was never really that impressed.  Boy, should I have been.  Guy is awesome.

I’m not sure why I downloaded the book, Delivering Happiness, but once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down.  Finished it in 2 days.  Couldn’t put it down and considering I read it on the iPad where there are a million distractions built right in, that’s an impressive feat in my book.

First and foremost, it’s a phenomenal book for anyone involved in startups.  Tony’s story of founding LinkExchange (which he eventually sold to Microsoft for $250 million) and then funding and ultimately running Zappos is a great story for anyone that has either started a company or wants to.  Truly inspirational.

While the name is actually a great title for the book, it doesn’t scream “must read startup book” like, say, Founders at Work does.  At the end of Tony’s journey he realizes that his purpose, and that of Zappos, is to deliver happiness to the world.  A little hokey for my taste but the guy is living it and all evidence points to that being a rallying cry that has lead him to being extremely successful.  But it takes him over 10 years to get to that realization and the journey is worth reading.

So I’ve added Delivering Happiness to the list of books I recommend.  Hope you like it as well.

And if you’ve already read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

  • http://www.kathlenehestir.com/ @KathleneHestir

    I <3 the 2010 @Zappos commercials, they crack me up: http://ow.ly/2u2hN

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/cubanx Ricardo Diaz

    You curmudgeon, with this quote: “…A little hokey for my taste …” If you make yourself happy, delivering happiness to others is easy.

    I thought *I* was the cranky old man! ;)

  • http://www.BrightWaveMarketing.com Simms Jenkins

    I agree – just read it & loved the story (especially the early parts) and previously, I was underwhelmed by the Zappos story, much like you.

    Anyone that is running a company or wants to, should read this.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Another book with an equally hokey name that I LOVE is “I Feel Great” – love this story of Pat Croce's entrepreneurship path http://ow.ly/2u9jK

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    I know, its funny how I never really got how successful Zappos was until I read that book. And Tony’s story, particularly all the places he failed, was great for anyone running a company (or wanting to).

  • Pingback: Customer service is still the best differentiator and it’s made up of small acts()

Previous post:

Next post: