Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose

This book is written by widely admired CEO of Zappos (online shoe retailer) - Tony Hsieh. This book beautifully narrates how Tony builds a unique culture in Zappos. Using anecdotes and stories from his own life experiences.

Favorite quote from the author:

Money alone isn’t enough to bring happiness… happiness is when you are truly okay with losing everything you have. - Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh has shared some of the awesome customer service experiences in this book and how Zappos culture helped him most sort-after company in silicon valley.

Want to deliver happiness too? Let’s take deep dive in some of the sections.

Lesson1: Company culture vs customer service.

Tony shared one of his experience when they went on a hiring spree, way too fast. He realized that hiring people went so off-track that after looking around, he could hardly know half of his employees. Later many of them led to realize that they are a horrible fit for the company and made huge imbalance in the organization’s culture. 

He learned an important lesson here…

Your company culture is the most important predictor of success.

Be very careful whom you bring in the organization, as they will become brand ambassador’s when they deliver customer service. He experimented innovative techniques while recruiting:

  1. In every recruitment in Zappos, he used to interact with the candidate before hiring.
  2. He believed you can hire a person if you feel you can talk and connect with him/her easily  

@OB, we follow some of these techniques too (different style)..our interview rounds doesn’t start with technical questions; instead, we begin our conversation with questions like:

  1. What’s your weirdest dream you wish to chase?
  2. What makes you get out of bed & rush to the office every single day?
  3. What values would you carry when working in a team? 
  4. What’s your passion quotient? 
  5. Share your experience when you went out of the way to delight a customer.

Lesson2: Deliver your best in one thing, instead of being average at many.

One of the core values which Zappos thrive on is - delivering WOW experience to customers. 

Tony picked one thing, customer service, and decided Zappos would be the best in the world at it.

Tony also taught one important lesson in the book i.e. Never outsource the one thing you’re trying to be great at.

You can outsource anything, but not everything. If you decide to create the greatest pizza delivery experience in the world, then you better be the one delivering the pizza. You don’t have to make it, but you can’t let someone else handle what’s supposed to be the thing making you unique.

@OB, we are passionate about building user-friendly mobile apps, and this has been key mission throughout our existence. No matter what happens, we always build & delivered mobile products for customers with uttermost care, love & passion (through the internal team). 

Lesson3: Build a product which does its own marketing.

Every product needs to have strong marketing & sales strategies; Tony went upstream. He says you should just re-invest everything you gain into your number 1 skill.

Zappos could’ve spent its initial profits on marketing campaigns, but instead of paying the press & marketing agencies, they focused on improving their core service so much that the press eventually came to them. 

Customers are constantly wowed with free shipping, surprise overnight deliveries, a 365-day guarantee and genuinely nice conversations whenever they call in with a question.

This book is extremely close to my heart because it has a huge impact on the way culture in OB has shaped-up. Off-course building strong org culture needs strong belief & patience from top management, people and time will test your grit & determination but the only way you can overcome it by always being innovative in your approach & trusting people in your organization.