Shoe selling shouldn’t come to mind when you hear the name Zappos. While the company does sell shoes and other retail goods, it’s not what it sells that makes Zappos successful. It’s how it sells (that is, what it does for its employees and customers) that makes Zappos what it is today. The company has revenues in excess of $1 billion annually, and in 2009 Amazon acquired Zappos for around $1 billion.
The acquisition by Amazon wasn’t your typical transaction where the founder and team got rich, retired, and you never heard from the company again. Today, nearly four years after the acquisition, Zappos still operates independently from Amazon. In fact, if you take a quick look at the Zappos website, you might think it’s a competitor of Amazon.
To understand Zappos, you need to know CEO Tony Hsieh (pronounced shay). Once you understand him, you’ll understand why Zappos operates the way it does. This blog post will be primarily about Hsieh, his philosophy of company culture, and his recommendations to other entrepreneurs.
A Quick Introduction to Tony Hsieh, CEO and Advocate of Company Culture
“Our number one priority is company culture. Our whole belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand will just happen naturally on its own.”