Author: Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
Hardcover: 253 pages
Publisher: Business Plus; 1 edition (June 7, 2010)
#1 Hardcover Business Best Seller (New York Times)
Why I Picked The Book - Browsing through the book section at Barnes & Noble in Colorado Springs in early September, I ended up in the business autobiographical section and Tony Hsieh's book caught my eye. Interested in a retail e-commerce business myself, I thought this might be a good read. Also, the emphasis on happiness made me curious. After all, who doesn't want to be happy.
Read this Book if you are interested in retail e-commerce, customer service, HR & company culture or simply a good old American Dream story - The more I got into it, the more I got hooked and the more I was trying to find out about Zappos. Eventually, I talked to Scott Klein, a manager in the Customer Loyalty Team at Zappos in Las Vegas, ordered my first pair of shoes from Zappos.com and got WOWed along the way. In essence, I tested the book on its authenticity and was not let down. Zappos is an inspiring story, an inspiring company, especially when it comes to its customer service, culture and supplier relationships. This book reminded me of The HP Way at its best and I wonder if this amazing culture only works for high-growth companies but somehow gets lost when the business turns very mature?
What the book is about
- The first portion is autobiographical about Tony Hsieh, the CEO who kept his humility – growing up with a clear sense of entrepreneurship, turning down an offer to sell his LinkExchange company for $1 million while eventually selling it for $265 million to Microsoft a few years later at the age of 24; and how he got involved with Zappos, became the CEO and invested nearly his entire fortune in this company.
- The second portion of the book describes Zappos itself, its culture and its path to success through employee, customer and supplier engagement leading to customer loyalty and profits.
- The third section is about taking Zappos to the next level, by serving a higher purpose namely to bring the Zappos philosophy into other companies as well as people’s lives. In fact, Tony Hsieh is on a bus tour right now (October 2010) delivering his message around the country.
The primary value of the book - The book teaches valuable lessons about boldness, humility and tenacity in addition to many business tips. The section on customer service, employee culture and supplier relationships is extremely strong if not revolutionary for corporate America and retail. Zappos has free shipping, sometimes the next day, a 365-day return guarantee and a win-win approach with it internal and external employees and partners. One of Zappos questions is: Have you WOWed at least one person a day?
Putting Zappos to the Test - Check out my video, where I tested the customer service and culture of Zappos. Find out how many WOWs I received on my research journey.
- My Book Review Video
- The companion web-site to the book
- The NewYork Times Bestseller List for Business Books
- The Delivering Happiness Bus Tour
- A Video Introduction to the book by Tony Hsieh
- Zappos Family Core Values
- Book Review on .eduGURU (Blog about internet marketing in higher educatiion)
- The Wall Street Journal Book Review (includes video-interview with Tony Hsieh)