Summary of Delivering Happiness

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Tony Hsieh (pronounced “shay”) became a multimillionaire in 1998, at age 24, by selling his first internet start-up firm to Microsoft for $265 million. Then he sold his online shoe retailer Zappos to Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion. This personable entrepreneur may sound like an enthusiastic cheerleader, but clearly he knows a lot about making a business grow and he’s worked hard to learn a lot about happiness. His vision encompasses a distinctive brand, a pipeline for developing talent and a creative corporate culture, all built on collegial fun and customer service. getAbstract recommends this entertaining book. Hsieh details some of the secrets of his success, including how he and his team (a hard working crew whose surnames he never mentions) made Zappos so strong. Hsieh sees “delivering happiness” as a philosophy anyone can apply to business and all other areas of life (while wearing good shoes, of course).

About the Author

Tony Hsieh is CEO of, Inc. He is a frequent public speaker.



Learning to Walk

Tony Hsieh grew up in Marin County, which lies across the Golden Gate Bridge to the north of San Francisco. His Taiwanese parents had high expectations that their three sons would excel at academics and music. To them, the ultimate prize was an Ivy League education and a Ph.D. Tony, the eldest son, was a high achiever in school, but he dreamed of get-rich schemes as well. He launched his first business venture, an earthworm farm, at the ripe age of nine. Backed by his parents, he purchased some 100 worms for $33.45. He envisioned a multiplying inventory, but, alas, the mud-filled worm box he built in his backyard allowed his entire stock to wiggle away. A few years later, Tony saw an ad in Boys’ Life magazine for a button-making machine. He wrote to the publishers of the book Free Stuff for Kids, asking to be included in their next edition. The editors posted his notice and his parents bought him the $50 machine. Kids who sent a photo, a stamped return envelope and $1 received a picture button. Parts cost 25 cents, so Tony made 75 cents each. He made $200 the first month, great money for a kid. When he burned out on buttons, he gave the...

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    R. T. 2 months ago
    Truly great story by what seems like a very decent man. I need to read the book.
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    L. M. 10 years ago
    definitely read this book. the happinesss research at the end is much better explained in the book than in this abstract (which I guess is inevitable).