Book notes: Delivering happiness

Posted on Thu 13 October 2011 in Life • 3 min read

Book: Delivering Happiness
Author: Tony Hseih
Rating: 4/5


Read the hard copy in 2010. Digitizing them :) Some notable parts from the book I loved:

- I failed my way to sucess -Thomas Edison
- ..I felt stupid for trying to sell christmas cards in August, so that also ended up being my last
  stop. I went back home trying to think of a business idea that had less seasonality to it.
- Even in school, sometimes it pays to take risks and think outside the box.
- I was given the opportunity to present my case, but I didn’t really have a case because I had no
  idea how the lunch card wound up in my pocket. Instead, I went into the session with the blind
  faith that the right thing would happen as long as I told the truth, so that’s exactly what I did.
  As it turned out, nobody believed me, and I was suspended from school for a day,…
  *sometimes truth alone is not enough, and that presentation of the truth was as important* as the
  truth (page 20)
- I had discovered the beauty of selling products with high average selling prices and high gross
  margins.
- “hubris” in greek is defined as “an exaggerated sense of pride or self confidence” which often led
  to downfall of many a greek hero.
- ..The power of crowdsourcing. (page 26)
- I felt I’d succeeded. I’d won the game of what I was told college was supposed to be all about:
  getting a job that paid as much money as possible…
- But we wanted to run our business and be in control of our own destiny. (Page 36)
- _*Start-Up*_: By the end of first week, it dawned on me that neither of us was actually passionate
  about doing Web design work. We loved the idea of owning and running our own business, but the
  reality ended up being a lot less fun than the fantasy. (Page 37)
- We didn’t know what we wanted to do, but we had learned what we *didn’t* want to do. We didn’t
  want to work for Oracle. We didn’t want to do any more Web design work. We didn’t want to make any more sales calls. And we didn’t want to be bored out of our minds. (Page 38)
- As a thought experiment, I made a list of all things I would do with the money if I had it.. I was
  surprised that my list was so short, and that it was actually difficult for me to add anything
  else to it. With the savings I already had, I already had the ability to buy some of these.
  ….
  I was already helping run a company that I was excited about. It seemed kind of silly to sell a
  company that I was excited about in order to start another company to be excited about.
  ….
  I knew in my heart that, even if we failed, going after the opportunity was the right thing to do.
  It was much more important than owning a condo or loft at the age of twenty-three. Becoming a home owner could wait until later in life.
  ….
  We were still young. We could afford to be bold.
  ….
  “We have decided to turn down their offer.”.. “There will never be another 1997.”.. It was us
  against the world, and we were going to make sure we would win. (Page 44)
  ….
  I remember looking around the room at all the happy faces and thinking to myself, I can’t believe
  this is real… It was about everything that had happened in the past year. It just didn’t seem
  real.
- _*Rapid growth*_: Walking up and down the stairs in our building I wasn’t sure if the people I
  ran into worked for !LinkExchange. At that time, we didn’t think it was a bad thing.. Not
  recognizing people due to our hyper growth fueled the 24/7 adrenaline rush we were feeling. This
  should have been a *warning sign*.
  We should have paid more attention to the company culture. In the first year, we’d hired people who wanted to be part of building something exciting and fun. Without realizing we had built a company culture we enjoyed being part of. Then, as we grew more than 25 people, we made mistake of hiring people who were joining company for other purposes. Good: people we hired were smart and motivated. Bad: many of them were motivated by the prospect of either making lot of money or building their careers and resumes.