Really enjoyed reading Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness, the story of how he funded, became CEO, and sold Zappos for over $1B to Amazon. It’s a great story if you are interested in entrepreneurship, and a well-written read (not all great stories are told well) – 225 of the 238 reviews on Amazon are either 5 or 4 stars.
Although it gets a little preachy on the customer service angle (there’s a reason – Zappos is one of the best in the world at it), there are some great lessons for entrepreneurs on a) how to build a winning and customer-centric attitude within your company, b) what it takes to survive 10 years of ups and downs in the e-commerce space (might be a good read for entrepreneurs with companies started in the last 18 months), and c) some of the pros and cons of raising venture capital (although Hsieh personally made $200M+ on the sale to Amazon, the book described a scenario where he did not want to sell).
Although the part about selling under duress from his investors garnered all the headlines, this is actually a good read throughout, with some great lessons on how to build a winning culture that will stand the test of time – whether you get acquired by Amazon for $1B or go it alone. I’d put it up there with Danny Meyer’s book Setting the Table and Howard Schultz’ Pour Your Heart Into It as recommended reads for entrepreneurs.