Delivering Happiness

I’m quiet picky when it comes to buying books, however buying “Delivering Happiness” was an impulse decision. As I was skimming through the pages of this book at the bookstore, Tony convinced me to buy it with this sentence: “For college, I applied to Brown, UC Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Princeton, Cornell, Yale and Harvard. I got into all of them.” It turned out to be a very good decision, because I enjoyed this book a lot. It combines personal story telling with lessons learned and good business advice.  He combines his personal story with the companies he founded and sold, LinkExchange and Zappos.

I bought shoes from Zappos when I was in the U.S., stores were spread around and it was hard to find good looking shoes at those stores. I didn’t have a car, and I didn’t have a lot of time, so it made a lot of sense to order them online. Free shipping both ways was a great friction reducer, I wouldn’t have tried it out otherwise.

Here are some snippets from the book:

  • LinkExchange was only five months old, and we now had the opportunity to sell it for $1 million
  • You’re in your best negotiating position if you don’t care what the outcome is and you’re not afraid to walk away
  • I made a list of the happiest periods in my life, and I realized that none of them involved money.
  • It’s a bad idea to invest in industries you don’t understand, in companies you don’t have any control or influence over, or in people you don’t know or trust
  • Experiences were much more important to me than material things
  • We learned that we should never outsource our core competency

I especially liked the section where he makes analogies between poker and business.

I think this story has a lot of resemblance with Facebook’s story, both founders are from Harvard, and both of them are not eager to sell their companies. Instead, they are looking to build a company that will be a lifetime endeavor.

Definitely give this book a try if you’re interested in stories of successful entrepreneurs.

November 26, 2010

sarp centel

Sarp is a software developer. He writes about technology, books and software.
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