Next week sees the much anticipated publication of Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a couple of advance copies a few weeks ago on the understanding that I would review the book on Riding the Ripple and give the other copy away to one of my readers.
It’s a bit like being gifted tickets to Super Bowl on the understanding that I turn up for the game. Why would I not want to write about one of the people on planet earth that I most admire?
As books go, I’ve read better. But as a real life example of how a very different kind of corporate culture can become the driver of unprecedented commercial success, it really doesn’t get better than this.
Tony Hsieh is no literary genius; he is just a straight forward, straight talking chap who possesses bucket loads of intellect, emotional intelligence, drive and humility.
Oh and he happens to be CEO of one of the last decade’s biggest internet sensations, Zappos.
On the face of it, Delivering Happiness is an archetypal story of rags to riches – and as a self confessed Sunday Times ‘How I made it’ addict for donkey’s years, I’ve read hundreds like it.
But actually I haven’t. I have never read anything quite like this before, because Tony Hsieh is a one-off.
- How many people do you know who would turn their back on trousering $8m in order to chase a passion?
- How many CEOs do you know who’s core beliefs on human interaction are heavily influenced by the very tribal behaviour experienced in rave culture?
- How many companies do you know that prefer to create interesting stories through delivering amazing customer experience instead of paying for PR?
- How many companies do you know that rely on word of mouth and spend the money that other companies would spend on advertising on customer service?
- How many companies do you know that communicate with their customers and staff at the same time, over the same channels?
I will be examining these and other themes in the book over the next few weeks. For now I hope I have whetted your appetite for Delivering Happiness sufficiently that you’d like to take a shot at winning yourself a free copy.
All you have to do is RT any tweet you see from me mentioning Delivering Happiness and then DM me and tell me how many posts on Riding the Ripple mention Zappos, and how Tony Hsieh pronounces his surname – is it Shay, Sigh or Shy?
3 thoughts on “Delivering Happiness”
Jon, I now want this book. Having recently pulled together a social media training session for a client using Zappos as a case study, I suddenly realised that I was a massive fan of Zappos – even though I’ve never bought anything from them, and, given they’re based in the US, I’m not sure I ever will.
But one thing’s for sure – if ever I’m asked to recommend someone doing customer service brilliantly, they’d be top of the list.
It’s wierd that we can be such strong fans of a company we have no direct experience of. I think the way they open themselves up and expose themselves so publically engenders trust and creates advocacy. Next time I’m in Vegas I’m going to do the tour!