In 1998, at the age of 24, Tony Hsieh sold his first company to Microsoft for $265 million.
In 2009, at the age of 35, he sold his e-commerce company, Zappos, to Amazon for $1.2 billion.
In 2020, at the age of 46, he died.
Tony Hsieh revolutionized both the tech world and corporate culture. He was a business visionary. He was also a man in search of happiness. So why did it all go so wrong?
Tony Hsieh’s first successful venture was in middle school, selling personalized buttons. At Harvard, he made a profit compiling and selling study guides. From there, he went on to build the billion-dollar online shoe empire of Zappos.
The secret to his success? Making his employees happy.
At its peak, Zappos’s employee-friendly culture was so famous across the tech industry that it inspired copycats and earned a cult following. Then Hsieh moved the Zappos headquarters to Las Vegas, where he personally funded a nine-figure campaign to revitalize the city’s historic downtown area. But as Hsieh fell deeper into his struggles with mental health and drug addiction, the people making up his inner circle began changing from friends to enablers.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with a wide range of people whose lives Hsieh touched, journalists Angel Au-Yeung and David Jeans craft a rich portrait of a man who was plagued by his eternal search for happiness and ultimately succumbed to his own demons.