Wonder Boy: Tony Hsieh, Zappos, and the Myth of Happiness in Silicon Valley (Hardcover)

Wonder Boy: Tony Hsieh, Zappos, and the Myth of Happiness in Silicon Valley By Angel Au-Yeung, David Jeans Cover Image
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A Financial Times best business book of 2023

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.

About the Author

Angel Au-Yeung, co-author of Wonder Boy, is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and a former staff writer for Forbes. She was born in Hong Kong and grew up in California, the youngest of three sisters. She attended UC San Diego for her undergraduate studies as a cognitive neuroscience major and Columbia University for her graduate degree in journalism. She currently lives in San Francisco.

David Jeans, co-author of Wonder Boy, is an investigative reporter for Forbes, where he covers the tech industry. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School and has reported for the Associated Press, the New York Times, and other publications. He grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and lives in New York City.

Praise For…

A Financial Times best business book of 2023

“Exceptional reporting…it should be mandatory reading for anyone who is interested in big tech.”
The New Yorker

"Why didn’t anyone force Hsieh into treatment? Au-Yeung and Jeans have performed a true service by trying to find out . . the material is compelling, with the gathering tension of a slow-motion disaster . . . riveting."
The New York Times Book Review

“In Wonder Boy, Angel Au-Yeung and David Jeans have delivered a heartbreaking and extraordinary account of a heartbreaking and extraordinary man. Tony Hsieh was an innovative business leader, but he was also frenetic, generous, difficult, and tormented. His rise and fall is a quintessential American tragedy—one that their thorough reporting captures movingly.”
—Max Chafkin, author of The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power

“Wonder Boy is a compelling and tragic story, but it’s also more than that. The authors pose questions that reverberate beyond Hsieh’s life.”
—Air Mail

Wonder Boy is a captivating story about the combustible mixture of genius, ambition, ego, empathy, wealth and intoxicants in the turbocharged environment of the technology elite. Au-Yeung and Jeans bring us deep inside the world of Tony Hsieh in a way that is both revelatory and entertaining.”
—Alec Ross, author of The Raging 2020s

Wonder Boy is so much more than a biography. Sure, it tells the story of Tony Hseih’s life, but it’s full of lessons for anyone interested in psychology, business, or social dynamics. Angel Au-Yeung and David Jeans approach their subject as investigative reporters, yet they remain full of empathy and compassion.”
—Dan Alexander, author of White House, Inc.: How Donald Trump Turned the Presidency into a Business

“Au-Yeung and Jeans’s empathetic portrait is as enthralling as it is achingly sad, combining rich research with a propulsive novelistic style. Readers will have a hard time putting this down.”
Publishers Weekly, *starred review*

“A somber rags-to-riches, genius-to-madness story…of entrepreneurial brilliance laid low.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Authors Au-Yeung and Jeans crafted [Tony Hsieh’s] life story from 150 interviews and various other materials. This book tells of a boy who, from a young age, was obsessed with making money, becoming a young man who took Silicon Valley by storm…until his mysterious and untimely death. Readers will find his story captivating and inspiring.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250829092
ISBN-10: 1250829097
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: April 25th, 2023
Pages: 384
Language: English