TONY HSIEH, CEO of Zappos, is one of today’s most successful and visionary business leaders.
In 1996, he co-founded a Website development side business from his apartment; two and a half years later, he sold LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265 million. In November 1999, he joined a struggling online shoe store as an adviser and investor. Named CEO in 2000, he helped Zappos grow to over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually, while continually strengthening its customer service and culture. In October 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at $1.2 billion. In January 2010, Zappos was ranked number 15 on Fortune magazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list. By the time Zappos was acquired by Amazon, Hsieh and his team had built a unique corporate culture dedicated to employee empowerment and the promise of delivering happiness though satisfied customers and a valued workforce.
Tony Hsieh stresses that investing in happiness not only inspires loyalty and trust in an age of constant uncertainty and cynicism, but also how it can really pay off. He recounts his own personal stories, and uses candid accounts from employees, actual internal e-mails, and hard numbers to strengthen his case.
He reveals: How he made customer service the responsibility of the entire company, not just a department; How he applied research from the science of happiness to running a business; How Zappos helps employees grow both personally and professionally; A critical lesson he learned from a costly failure: Never outsource your core competency; How Zappos claimed its culture as its brand—and why Hsieh and his team believe that Zappos’ Brand, Culture, and Pipeline (“BCP”) are the company’s most enduring competitive advantages; The secrets to Zappos’ effective teamwork and genuine sense of family spirit, and; Why he is a firm believer in the science of happiness and how he is leading Zappos to become part of a bigger movement—a movement to change the way other companies do business and, in the process, help change the world.
LISA NAPOLI is the author of the upcoming book, RADIO SHANGRI-LA: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth (CROWN: Feb. 2011).
It's about how she went to help start a radio station in the mysterious nation during a transition time in its history, and in her own life. Over her 25 year career in media, Napoli has worked for the NY Times, MSNBC, CNN, and the public radio show Marketplace.