A beautiful reading: “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh

Blogging around, and clicking links about lifestyle design I stumbled in a post about this upcoming interesting title: “Delivering Happiness“.

As I read a lot about happiness in the last year, I could not ignore this title 🙂

I found this Tony Hsieh, which I didn’t know, CEO of Zappos.com, which I didn’t know, offering a free copy of his new book for bloggers.

Few days later an UPC shipment is at my door: you know when you’re surprised because you’re not expecting anything, right?

Well I open the box and I found 2 advance reading copies of the “Delivering Happiness” book.
My natural reaction was a big WOW: 2 copies of a book not yet published delivered by express international shipment. WOW.

Well, after reading the book, I understood this was exactly the purpose of it. Tony’s culture, that reflects in Zappos way of operate, is all built around the “WOW effect”: the reaction of positive surprise, when something unexpected exceed our expectation and we struggle to believe it’s true.

Turned out that Tony Hsieh is a young and rich entrepreneur running the biggest online shoes shop: www.zappos.com
But that’s not the interesting part. Tony is different than others young and reach entrepreneur because he’s moved by an higher purpose.
He strives to deliver happiness, to generate joy for himself and for everyone else.

The book is in 3 parts.

In the first part (Profits) Tony writes about his life, how since his childhood he has always had a business oriented mindset (trying to build a worms factory, for example!) and later on how as a teenager went through different interests and experiences.
I loved how he could get lessons out of every experience. That’s what experiences are made for.
It’s not important which experiences you go through… for Tony was playing poker and going to rave parties, for someone else can be playing soccer and camping.
It doesn’t matter. What matters is the lesson you get out of it.
In some parts Tony can be seen as the classic lucky guy that got millions from the Internet boom, but is Tony’s way of openly and honestly shares what every passion gave him that shows that Tony has something more than money and ideas, Tony is looking for an higher purpose.

It’s when he decided to risk all his money into Zappos that this becomes clear.
There’s a sentence here that opened my eyes… “I had discovered my new passion. I was passionate about proving everyone wrong.”.

Tony’s passion is not in shoes. Passion is not in our job. Passion is in ourself. This made me realize that the passion I had for IT (that leaded me to a humbly great career) was not about IT, but was about proving that I could be part of this system and built a position.

The second part (Profits and passion) is all about Zappos, since Tony’s decision to fully dedicate his time to it.
From the hard and uncertain times of the beginning to the affirmation of the company built around culture and core values.
This part isn’t my favourite, but this is me. I’m more interested in Tony’s personal journey than in business management… but still, this is a pleasant read full of amazing anecdotes and contributions from
Zappos employees.

The section 3 of the book (Profit, passion and purpose) is not just the closing chapter with some ideas about further business development.
It’s the disclosure of what is behind the creation of the “delivering happiness” concept.
This is the part I love the most. It talks about life purpose, science of happiness and happiness framework… and close with a set of questions for YOU to think.
In this part the analysis of happiness top my previous favourite one from “the 4 hours work week” by Tim Ferris… there happiness is excitement, while here passion is a kin of happiness before reaching an higher purpose.

If you’re looking for inspiration about how to live before you die… this is one of the book I would recommend you to have 🙂


This book is available via Amazon:


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Di Daniele

Hi, I’m Daniele! A human being from planet earth. I founded WP-OK.it and I like dancing Salsa, running, and living a location independent lifestyle.