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Jun 7, 2010

Delivering Happiness


Competition to win an advanced reading copy of the book Delivering Happiness: A path to profits, passion and purpose will be at the end of the review...if you would like a chance to win a copy then please read on!

If you have not heard of Delivering Happiness, I suggest you check them out at  http://www.deliveringhappinessbook.com/ for a bit of background on the review.  The book can be purchased from amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/deliveringhappiness

This book follows Tony Hsieh's journey in the business world, from badge making from home with a high IQ to his selling of Zappos to Amazon for a figure above a billion dollars. The journey for happiness involved some ups and downs in business startups, the hunt for money, the loss of money, the hunt for the secret to corporate long-term success, and some input from partners and employees along the way. Zappos' leadership eventually decided to emphasise sterling customer service as the key to their own corporate culture.  The idea was to infuse ten larger values (with numerous sub-meanings and applications) into every aspect of every department of the company.

There are plenty of great tips on building culture. Paying new employess $2000 to quit. It also gives some insight to the company training program which encourages employees to constrantly grow and develop.   Make your employees happy and they will be more productive and stay with you.  This isn’t the first book I’ve read where poker is used as an analogy to business and life choices but I was pleased with the way Tony presented this topic.  The way the book reads is that most decisions are made quickly without a level of preparation that might have been expected for such a successful person.  This came across in Zappo's case, smart people with the ability to quickly change direction after recognizing a mistake can be successful without the need for detailed analysis.

In general the book is a very light read. It is destined to be given out to employees for free, and to serve as a sort of corporate diary and the documentation of the corporate methodology. The last few pages are a little more thoughtful, where the author tries to relate his business experience to a philosophical discussion of life, the universe and everything.  The biggest idea to take from the book for me was that whichever sector your business sits in make sure it really goes for it. In the case of customer intimate sector, Zappos upgrade customer’s delivery to overnight for free. Doing this extra is going to make the customer happy and they are going to talk about the service to peers and help the companys bottom line.  I’ve now added a new phrase to my business language “Bet the farm on it!”

Competition

Alright, here’s the deal.  I sent away for an advance copy of Zappos CEO’s book Delivering Happiness.  I was lucky enough to be selected as a recipient of an advance copy.  I was unaware that they were sending two copies of the book…one for me and one for a blog reader (you).

I would like anyone interested in winning an advanced reading copy of Delivering Happiness to leave a comment. To qualify you must be signed in and leave a way for me to get back in touch with you.  The comment can be about anything site related, delivering happiness, Zappos, upcoming book releases anything.  Your name needs to be legit and filled out fully.  The comment must be placed on this posting otherwise it will not be included in the draw.  All comments will then be placed in a hat and 1 lucky winner will receive a copy provided by Tony Hsieh himself.  The draw will take place a week from now on the 14th June.

6 comments:

Ross Dargan said...

I'll enter as I think the Zappos story is amazing. Tara Hunt talked about the company extensively at a conference and I have been amazed with them ever since!

Ross

NoseAhead said...

Hi Dave,
I followed the Amazon link to watch the following video; http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/m79RW10Q832QM
which gives some small perspective on his attitude to a successful business and life values.
An admirable asset that many company management are lacking.
An interesting article

Regards Anthony

George Palmer said...

Hi Dave,

I'll give it a shot as the book is on my Amazon wish list anyway.

Hope is all well - it has been a while!

George

javera said...

I can't really see myself as a person who wins the book as I am the unluckiest person ever, but anyway, it would be a good read. Especially since I have the summer holidays (or at least part of it) in front of me ;)

The thing I found most interesting in your post is the idea that the business should concentrate on one particular area. There is this Polish saying 'if something is multi-purpose, it's actually useless'.

It really annoys me when a company offers me a range of mediocre services, even though I'm after only one thing.

Halliday said...

Worth a shot, sounds like an interesting story...

Richard said...

You never get books from people who start badge making businesses in their garages that don't go anywhere.

But i'd still like to read it. I can recommend orbitting the giant hairball as a good read as well. It describes the importance of creativity in corporations.

Rich