Home reviews Happiness & Success by “Delivering Happiness” (Book Review)

Happiness & Success by “Delivering Happiness” (Book Review)

written by Head Health Nutter June 10, 2010

What if… the old adages, “Good guys always finish last” and “Money is the root of all evil” were myths? What if success could be achieved through good intentions, and monetary wealth was one of many natural by-products of that success?

I thought I changed those negative beliefs a long time ago but I think I needed proof. I found it in “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh (pronounced “Shay”), CEO of Zappos.com!

This past week we’ve been talking about how personal development increases health and how successful people inspire action. Well, Tony Hsieh ties this week’s discussions together and provides an inspiring success story for the rest of us in “Delivering Happiness” – just launched this week.

Short ‘n Sweet Book Review Summary

“Delivering Happiness” is not only a must-read for any budding or established business owner looking for a long-term success “how-to” book, it’s a great story for anyone pursuing happiness. Tony takes us on his life journey and the lessons he’s learned, the most important being: profits don’t mean a thing without passion and purpose.

About the Author

Tony Hsieh is a light-hearted, slightly quirky young man who’s become an online celebrity of sorts. He is the CEO of Zappos, a company that Amazon acquired in 2009 for just over $1 billion. Tony is no stranger to financial success, either: he co-founded and sold LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265 million in 1999.

Why You Might Want to Read this Book (more in-depth review)

Like the title suggests, this book is about happiness.

What’s the #1 complaint you and most people have about any company (and person or employer, for that matter)? That’s right, they dropped the ball on customer service: they leave you feeling as if they don’t care about you.

On the other hand, when a company (person or employer) dazzles you, they leave you feeling important and respected. In other words, happy.

In a conversational tone, Tony explains how he and Zappos are achieving ultimate success and happiness by delivering happiness to others. Through personal stories, his own as well as those from Zappos customers, employees, vendors and partners, Tony illustrates how the company focuses on building and maintaining relationships.

“Delivering Happiness” is divided in 3 sections:

  1. The first is mainly autobiographical in nature where Tony lets us into his life as he grows up and learns about the pursuit of financial gain.
  2. In the second section, he shares with us the ups and downs of building Zappos as they clarify their values and passion.
  3. The third section introduces purpose into the equation for a more sustainable approach to success and happiness, in both business and life.

The Science of Happiness

“Delivering Happiness” is definitely a page-turner for those interested in business but for those who aren’t, I guarantee it’s still worth the read. You’ll find many insights throughout the book you can directly apply to your life.

Especially the last chapter where Tony mentions his research into the science of happiness and how he’s applied it to Zappos. (Check out the excellent book review by Positive Psychology News which focuses on this particular aspect of the book.)

Basically, this science has determined that everyone is in the pursuit of the same thing: happiness.

I wanted to write this book… to contribute to a happiness movement to help make the world a better place.

My hope is that through this book, established businesses will look to change the way they are doing things, and entrepreneurs will be inspired to start new companies with happiness at the core of their business models, taking with them some of the lessons I’ve learned personally as well as the lessons that we’ve collectively learned at Zappos. My hope is that more and more companies will start to apply some of the findings coming out of the research in the science of happiness field to make their business better and their customers and employees happier.

My hope is this will bring you happiness, but also enable you to bring other people more happiness.

If happiness is everyone’s ultimate goal, wouldn’t it be great if we could change the world and get everyone and every business thinking in that context and that framework?


I loved this book and not because I received a free, advanced copy in exchange for an honest review; I loved this book because it gave me hope and proof. A company (or person) does NOT have to sell their soul for success!

“Delivering Happiness” showed me that where most people and companies take the easy path to success by making selfish decisions, there are others who have the fortitude and wits to create a win-win situation despite the difficulties of doing so.

Have you any examples of successful people or companies who refused to compromise on their values just to make a buck? There’s got to be more! Please share them in the comments below.

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