The book Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh is a surprising uplifting read. It is the story of his entrepreneurial career; primarily his time at Zappos the online shoe retailer that is famous for exceptional customer support and was sold to Amazon in 2009 for ~$1.2 billion.
Some interesting notes:
– When discussing his experiences playing poker and the parallels with business, he notes that table selection (business market opportunity/opportunity in) is the most important decision you make.
– Believes that the Zappos brand, culture, and pipeline are their only competative advantages
– Zappos created a culture book written by all employees for employees; each contributes and the text is printed verbatim
– Quotes the book Good to Great; great companies have a greater purpose and bigger vision than just making money or being number one in their market.
– Ask anything newsletter; employees send questions, and they are collected and anonymously published in question and answer form in a newsletter
– Branding through customer service; took most of the money that would have been spent on advertising and spent it on customer support.