Tony Hsieh calls happiness a business model—and not just because his book, Delivering Happiness, is a best seller. "There's power that comes from matching corporate values with personal values," says the Zappos CEO, whose fun, fresh employee culture helped turn the shoe commerce site into a billion-dollar brand. At the 12-year-old company's new Las Vegas HQ, for example, Hsieh plans to host indie concerts and build small crash pads—replete with a bed and closet—that can be rented for $100 a month. To help other firms follow suit, Hsieh in March launched a motivational consultancy, also called Delivering Happiness, that will advise on company culture (one tip: source your mission statement from a scrapbook of employee testimonials), as well as offer packaged experiences, such as pottery classes and helicopter lessons.
A book trailer for Hsieh's Delivering Happiness, and his Leading@Google talk.
Usually my 'a-ha' moments are when I'm not trying to think of how to solve a particular problem.
Was there a book that changed how you see?
Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt. It made me realize that even though we all have different goals in life, ultimately the reason why we're pursuing them is because we believe it will make us happier. However, research has shown that people are very bad at predicting what will make them happy on a long-term sustainable basis, so reading about the different studies that have been done on the science of happiness has been very helpful both in business and in life.