Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh Combines Business and Pleasure in new book: Delivering Happiness

Filed in Gather News Channel by on June 6, 2010 0 Comments

Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh explains how to be happy at work in his Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose,” an autobiographical account of the unusual Zappos story.  Zappos.com is the world’s largest online shoe retailer, whose name is derived from the Spanish word for shoes, zapatos.  The book describes the company as a business that’s founded on “curiosity, built with friendship, and sustained with employee happiness,” and also is based on a business model that “doesn’t compartmentalize labor and leisure.”

So what makes Zappos different, exactly?  “Our whole belief is that everyone’s a little weird somehow,” said Hsieh, “and so it’s really more just a fun way of saying that we really want people’s true personalities to shine in the workplace.”  It really just sounds like an absurdly fun place to work.  A client touring the head office might see karaoke, an impromptu bowling alley, a petting zoo, or napping employees.  Zappos has something they call “Bald & Blue Day,” where employees are encouraged to show company spirit by shaving their hair or dying it blue.  The company is so determined to get dedicated workers that it will actually test their loyalty by offering them money to quit.  One new employee Christy Martin, who started right before Christmas, turned down $3,000.  “It seems like a lot of money,” she reasoned, “but that’s going to be gone really quick. And where else are you going to find a job that’s as good as this? And especially in this economy, you know? A job that’s going to take care of you?”

She’s right about that: Zappos sponsors marathons, permits personal education and travel, really just looks after their employees.  36-year-old Hseih says that his book is a way to spread the message to other businesses that “it’s actually possible to make employees happy, make customers happy, and still make investors happy…and you know, still have profits,” he said.

The book will be available to buy in approximately 15 hours, according to the website, which is keeping an official countdown.  Learn more at http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com/. 

 

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