Synopses & Reviews
- Pay brand-new employees $2,000 to quit
- Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a department
- Focus on company culture as the #1 priority
- Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business
- Help employees grow-both personally and professionally
- Seek to change the world
- Oh, and make money too . . .
Sound crazy? It's all standard operating procedure at Zappos, the online retailer that's doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. After debuting as the highest-ranking newcomer in Fortune
magazine's annual "Best Companies to Work For" list in 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing.
In DELIVERING HAPPINESS, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life, from starting a worm farm to running a pizza business, through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Fast-paced and down-to-earth, DELIVERING HAPPINESS shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success-and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.
To learn more about the book, go to www.deliveringhappinessbook.com.
"Zappos CEO Hsieh offers a compelling account of his transformation from callow Harvard student entrepreneur through his years as a dot-com wunderkind to the creator of a formidable brand. Interest might flag as Hsieh, fresh off selling his Internet company LinkExchange to Yahoo in 1999 for $265 million, kvetches about lacking fulfillment. But as the tech boom bursts, and Hsieh confronts his dwindling investments, his story comes alive. As the funding for his incubator companies dries up and one of his most promising startups, Zappos.com, a shoe retailer, seems doomed, Hsieh blossoms into a mature businessperson, slashing expenses and presciently making customer service the essence of the company's brand. The story becomes suspenseful as Hsieh recounts the stress of operating in survival mode, liquidating his assets to fund the company in its darkest days and seeking out an 11th-hour loan. By the time Zappos is acquired by Amazon for more than $1.2 billion in 2009, Hsieh and his team had built a unique corporate culture dedicated to employee empowerment and the promise of delivering happiness though satisfied customers and a valued workforce. An uplifting tale of entrepreneurial success, personal growth, and redemption. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"In this fascinating (and often hilarious) account, Tony explains how he turns his beliefs into actions that really do deliver happiness."--Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
"This book is awesome. How Tony and Zappos grew to $1 billion in gross revenue in 10 years is just the beginning. From fundraising to finding happiness, from actual e-mails to checklists, it covers it all. Intensely personal and intensely practical."--Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek
"In DELIVERING HAPPINESS, Tony reveals the secret to his success at such a young age: leadership in culture and happiness."--Lance Armstrong
"Tony Hsieh is a wise guy. Sincerely. He's one of the wisest and most thoughtful business leaders of the modern age. This insightful book isn't just an enjoyable read. It's a wonderful instruction manual for how 21st century companies create value and happiness at the same time."--Chip Conley, Fanound and CEO of Joie de Vivre and Author of PEAK: HOw Great COmpanies Get Their Mojo from Maslow
"This book could start a revolution!"--Marshall Goldsmith, author of MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It
"This book illustrates so many of Zappos' core values: it's open and honest, passionate and humble, fun and a little weird. Even if you don't care about business, technology, or shoes, you'll be drawn in by this American tale of how hard work, laziness, talent and failure blend together to create an extraordinary life."--Jonathon Haidt, author of THE HAPPINESS HYPOTHESIS: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
"Tony Hsieh is the shining star of a new way of working. DELIVERING HAPPINESS is a book that tells an extraordinary business story -- building a $1 billion online business selling shoes in less than a decade -- but also an extraordinary human story. Tony is one of those entrepreneurs who is both fearless and endlessly imaginative about pursuing his dreams."--Tony Schwartz, Author of THE WAY WE'RE WORKING ISN'T WORKING
"DELIVERING HAPPINESS is a glimpse into the mind of one of the most remarkable business leaders of our time. Like its author, the book is authentic, oddly original, doesn't take itself too seriously--yet delivers a potent message. This book needs to be read by anyone who takes the happiness of other people seriously. "--Dave Logan, professor at the Marshall School of Business/USC' and coauthor of TRIBAL LEADERSHIP AND THE THREE LAWS OF PERFORMANCE
"An uplifting tale of entrepereneurial success, personal growth, and redemption."--Publishers Weekly
"The only book I've read that makes stunningly clear why companies succeed and sustain or fade. Tony Hsieh's profoundly simple answer: create a
compelling set of core values and beliefs which every member of the work
force understands and embodies, a culture that they are willing to live and
die for and which makes Zappos the supreme example of how culture can work it's miracles."--Warren Dennis, Distinguished Professor of Business
“What a gem! Enough that it's a thorough, practical manual for optimizing relationships and work environments, based on new and solid research in human behavior--but it's a surprising, witty, well-written, and wonderfully engaging read. I had countless "aha!"s about how we effectively get things done, as I read it. Bravo, Ron Friedman.”
-David Allen, author of Getting Things Done
"We've lost our way. In this stunning book, Ron Friedman helps us get back on track, exploring not only what work is for, but how we can leap forward and become more human, more alive and more effective."
"In The Best Place to Work, Ron Friedman examines the factors that take a company from ordinary to extraordinary. The stories in this book -- which range from cruise ship casinos to hostage negotiations -- are fascinating in their own right, but they also pack powerful, research-based lessons for better leadership in the workplace. Friedman's findings are often surprisingly counterintuitive, yet always convincing.”
-Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell Is Human
“The Best Place to Work is an engaging journey through the latest science of improving the quality of life in organizations. Psychologist Ron Friedman examines how to unleash creativity, boost motivation, and offer rewards and recognition that bring people together rather than driving them apart.”
-Adam Grant, author of Give and Take
“A must-read for managers, decision ¬makers, and emerging leaders.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
"This is an energetic, conversational look at what really makes an office environment tick."
"Most readers will find some arresting ideas in this book...with a light and entertaining touch."
"A contemporary classic. Dr. Friedmans new book offers a highly original guide to creating exceptional workplaces based on cross-field academic research and superb examples from real companies. You wont find these insights elsewhere. From office design to employee motivation to conflict resolution, The Best Place to Work is the best book to have on your shelf now."
-Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Wont Get You There
"I love this book! It's smart, fun to read, interesting, clear, and practical. We're all owners of our workplaces, and this is our owner's manual. Following Ron's advice is easy and will pay huge dividends for you and the people with whom you work."
-Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done
“An eye-opening, highly-readable, and practical guide to improving the way we work. No matter what you do for a living, this book will change the way you see your workplace.”
-Professor Richard Wiseman, author of 59 Seconds: Think a Little Change a Lot
“In The Best Place to Work, Ron Friedman brings together decades of psychological research into a package that offers organizations concrete advice to improve the well-being of workers and the quality of work. Much of the advice is eye-opening. I'm sure the results of taking the advice will be too.”
-Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice and Practical Wisdom
“This fascinating book shows how to create workspaces that foster creativity, collaboration, and high productivity. Its a joy to read, filled with practical advice for leaders, engaging real-world stories, and grounded in scientific research.”
-Keith Sawyer, Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations, University of NC at Chapel Hill, and author of Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity
"Friedman's book fills you with optimism about the future of work. If enough managers pay attention to the science he is promoting, then a lot of people are going to roll out of bed on Mondays truly eager to get to the other side of their commutes."
-David McRaney, author of You Are Not So Smart
“When it comes to motivation and engagement, the problem is rarely that the work itself is terrible - its that the way we are working is. In The Best Place to Work, Ron Friedman tells you everything - and I mean everything - you need to know to bring out the best in your employees. This powerful (and entertaining!) book is a guide to understanding how subtle, often unconscious influences in the workplace affect happiness, creativity, productivity and loyalty - and how you can use these insights to create real and lasting impact, on your team and in your organization. Everyone should be reading this book.”
-Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD, Associate Director of Columbia Business School's Motivation Science Center and author of 9 Things Successful People Do Differently
"If you want to attract and keep exceptional employees, your culture is the key. In this entertaining book, Ron Friedman offers a practical game plan for building a workplace that thrives.”
-Todd Henry, author of Die Empty
“Theres an astonishing gap between what science knows about human behavior and what companies think they know. In this fascinating book, Ron Friedman outlines the science behind thriving at work and offers practical advice for managers who are committed to making a real difference in the workplace."
-David Burkus, author of The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas
"What a great relief to read a business book that is not just about how to be a better leader but about what makes work more fun, exciting and productive. By focusing on what managers at all levels of an organization can do, this book provides a rich inventory of practical, research-based ideas for making work engaging. A most valuable and entertaining read full of powerful insights that should be read by every manager and employee."
-Edgar H. Schein, Professor Emeritus Sloan School of Management, MIT and author of Organizational Culture and Leadership, 4th Edition and co-author, with John Van Maanen, of Career Anchors, 4th Edition
“Ron Friedman's The Best Place to Work presents the latest scientific findings in a highly entertaining but rigorous way. An excellent example of great science writing for practical application in the real world. If you want to make the workplace better, this book is the best place to start.”
-Dean Keith Simonton, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis
“The Best Place to Work flows seamlessly and is filled with practical, accessible ways of seeing not only oneself in depth, but also the complex mosaics of workplace environments with pitfalls and opportunities galore. The principles that undergird a fulfilling and healthy life, with room for authentic, creative play are infused into practical, real-life vignettes throughout its pages. Bringing the science of human innovativeness and productivity into focus, and combining these science-based truths with a life well lived are what can be gleaned from its chapters.”
-Stuart Brown, M.D., author of Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, and Founder and President of The National Institute for Play
“Ron Friedman bridges the gap between cutting-edge science and the reality of the modern workplace in a way that is clear, sensible, and effective. Friedman does more than offer recommendations - he provides empirically supported tools for turning most any office into a lively, engaging workplace. Written in a user-friendly style that will grab your attention, this book is a must-read for anyone who has wondered why workplaces cant be successful and welcoming at the same time.”
-Harry Reis, PhD, University of Rochester Professor of Psychology, Past President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and winner of the International Association for Relationship Research's Distinguished Career award
"An excellent book."
In Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh - the hip, iconoclastic, and widely-admired CEO of Zappos, the online shoe retailer - - explains how he created a corporate culture with a commitment to service that aims to improve the lives of its employees, customers, vendors, and backers. Using anecdotes and stories from his own life experiences, and from other companies, Hsieh provides concrete ways that companies can achieve unprecedented success. He details many of the unique practices at Zappos, such as their philosophy of allocating marketing money into the customer experience, the importance of Zappos's Core Values ("Deliver WOW through Service"), and the reason why Zappos's number one priority is company culture and his belief that once you get the culture right, everything else - great customer service, long-term branding - will happen on its own. Finally, Delivering Happiness explains how Zappos employees actually apply the Core Values to improving their lives outside of work, proving that creating happiness and record results go hand-in-hand.
Using anecdotes and stories from his own life experiences, and from other companies, Hsieh--CEO of Zappos, the online shoe retailer--provides concrete ways that companies can achieve unprecedented success.
For readers of Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and Freakonomics, comes a captivating and surprising journey through the science of workplace excellence.
Why do successful companies reward failure? What can casinos teach us about building a happy workplace? How do you design an office that enhances both attention to detail and creativity?
In The Best Place to Work, award-winning psychologist Ron Friedman, Ph.D. uses the latest research from the fields of motivation, creativity, behavioral economics, neuroscience, and management to reveal what really makes us successful at work. Combining powerful stories with cutting edge findings, Friedman shows leaders at every level how they can use scientifically-proven techniques to promote smarter thinking, greater innovation, and stronger performance.
Among the many surprising insights, Friedman explains how learning to think like a hostage negotiator can help you defuse a workplace argument, why placing a fish bowl near your desk can elevate your thinking, and how incorporating strategic distractions into your schedule can help you reach smarter decisions. Along the way, the book introduces the inventor who created the cubicle, the president who brought down the worlds most dangerous criminal, and the teenager who single-handedly transformed professional tennisvivid stories that offer unexpected revelations on achieving workplace excellence.
Brimming with counterintuitive insights and actionable recommendations, The Best Place to Work offers employees and executives alike game-changing advice for working smarter and turning any organizationregardless of its size, budgets, or ambitionsinto an extraordinary workplace.
About the Author
Ron Friedman, Ph.D.
is an award-winning psychologist and founder of Ignite80, a management consultancy that teaches leaders and their teams evidence-based practices for building extraordinary workplaces.
A human motivation expert, Ron has authored multiple book chapters and academic journal articles on the science of achievement, creativity, and happiness. Prior to launching Ignite80, Ron served on the faculty of the University of Rochester, Nazareth College, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Popular accounts of Rons research have appeared on NPR and in major newspapers, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Vancouver Post, the Globe and Mail, The Guardian, as well as magazines such as Mens Health, Shape, and Allure.
He contributes to the blogs of Fast Company, Forbes, and Psychology Today.