Home Domains How Did Zappos Do It?

How Did Zappos Do It?

by Mike Sullivan

I recent finished reading Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. If you haven’t read it and want to be truly inspired, this could do it. The book has a solid focus on some of the management and leadership philosophies Hsieh employed to deliver a successful result with Zappos. But I found his background and mindset to be far more interesting and inspiring than the customer service focus of the company.

We’re not all Harvard graduates like Hsieh, but he comes across as your average guy. He was an entrepreneurial dreamer as a kid, working on a failed worm farm in his back yard. But that first setback didn’t stop him. He continually worked on ideas and tried things until they worked. Then he tried to make them work better. After college and landing a job with Oracle, he quickly realized that he wanted to do his own thing. A result of that was the development of Link Exchange which was sold to Yahoo in 1999 for $265 million. This positioned him for his later involvement in Zappos.

In the book, you’ll learn that the original name of the site was ShoeSite.com (which still points to Zappos today). The journey from the sale of Link Exchange to the development and eventual sale of Zappos to Amazon is an amazing story, well worth the read.

If you’re looking for the next book to pick up for entertainment and to learn something along the way, Delivering Happiness is it.

Related Articles


duh October 22, 2010 - 8:53 am

yeah, anything is pretty much possible and can be made successful when you start with 9 figures in your pocket.

Mike Sullivan October 22, 2010 - 8:57 am

Yeah, that doesn’t hurt. They would have failed several times over without the funding… but still a huge risk to invest your “once in a lifetime” fortune on such a risk.

Tim Davids October 31, 2010 - 7:57 am

I downloaded the audiobook of this a few days ago. Damn good stuff. The chapter comparing poker to business was worth it alone.

Mike Sullivan October 31, 2010 - 8:49 am

That was some good stuff… wonder what his poker limit was?


Leave a Comment