Tony Hsieh, the prolific entrepreneur, and former CEO of online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos is dead. He was 46.
7 ENTREPRENEURIAL LESSONS TO LEARN FROM FORMER ZAPPOS CEO, TONY HSIEH
Hsieh, the prolific entrepreneur, and former CEO of online shoe and clothing
retailer Zappos is dead. He was 46.
to reports, he died of his injuries after a house fire in the US state of
is important to add that the two Tony Hsieh-linked companies Link Exchange and
Zappos were sold at mouthwatering prices. The former was bought by
Microsoft for $265 million while the latter was sold to Amazon for $1.2
what makes you happy
Hsieh was managing his own venture capital business-Venture Frogs when he
initially invested in Zappos. He became the CEO of the company in 2000 and
transformed it into a billion-dollar business. Zappos caught the interest of
Amazon bought it for $1.2 billion. Hsieh was said to have made at
least $214 million from the sale, not including money made through his former investment firm
Venture Frogs. Hence, know what makes you happy as an entrepreneur.
staff is your second-most important asset after your customers. They attend to
customers on behalf of your business. Treat them well so that they can always give
their best. In the case of Zappos, a customer service agent that spends 7-hours
resolving a customer complaint would be viewed as productive and would be
supported as long as it is in tandem with Zappos value. But, in some other
companies, this would be completely frowned at.
values serve as a guide for all staff regardless of their position. They are
not introduced for the fun of it. Zappos has 10 core values. Let these
values direct the day-to-day operation of all employees in the discharge of
founders have a vertical relationship with their employees. They barely talk to
them as they see themselves as superior. It is therefore not only about making
your employees happy, you must also take out time to interact and talk to them.
Ask them what would make them happy.
Many entrepreneurs become so focused on the product or
service that they are offering that they end up forgetting about their
customers. Tony Hsieh wants to be known not as the best online shoe
retailer but as the company with the best customer service. He has stated that
he is actually not that passionate about shoes but providing the best customer
service is something that inspires him.
and selling Link Exchange for $265 million might seem like the
kind of mistake that any entrepreneur would be happy to make but Tony has
stated he was not happy with his first company. The mistake he made was to try
and build a company culture too late. With Zappos he didn’t want to
make the same mistake and established the company culture at the very
Success is basically hinged
on doing something that you are passionate about. A lot of entrepreneurs are
entirely focused on making money. But, this can actually hinder their chances
of finding success. As Tony says “businesses that are run by people who are
passionate about whatever the business is about tend to have a much higher shot
at success.” When you are passionate about something you are able to work
harder and inspire others to do the same. When faced with adversity you will
have the passion to keep going.