Wonder Boy: Tony Hsieh, Zappos, and the Myth of Happiness in Silicon Valley

Holt. Apr. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781250829092. $32. BIOG
Wall Street Journal reporter Au-Yeung and Forbes investigative reporter Jeans have written a convincing account of the life and work of the late Tony Hsieh. Based upon the hundreds of interviews they conducted, along with other sources, their book paints a complex picture of Hsieh, best known for his online shoe store Zappos, his effort to revive downtown Las Vegas, and his book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, which discusses his distinctive—revolutionary at the time—business philosophy. He believed making employees happy would compel them to make customers happy, who would keep returning for more. As a result, Zappos became one of the most sought-after places in which to get hired. In 2013, Hsieh moved the Zappos headquarters from Henderson, NV, to Las Vegas, where he tried to apply these same principles. This meant, in part, partying hard and using alcohol and drugs. He eventually fell prey to drug addiction, mental illness, and struggling with sleep deprivation and loneliness before his death in 2020.
VERDICT Recommended for business collections and to those considering entrepreneurship or applying Hsieh’s business philosophy.
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