Zappos is an online shoe and clothing store. The idea of an online shoe store originally came from Nick Swinmurn in the year 1999. He then pitched the idea to Alfred Lin and Zappos’ current CEO Tony Hsieh. Zappos quick rise to success is mostly attributed to their ten core values. These values vary from creating fun and weirdness to being humble. However, the root of this company’s success lies only on one important thing: their regard for customer service. They value the quality time spent with customers over the phone rather than the quantity of customers.
Currently, Zappos’ headquarters is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2009, the company was acquired by Amazon.
Tony Hsieh is a full-blooded Taiwanese but was born in the state of Illinois. He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in computer science. During his years in Harvard as a Quincy House resident, he created the Quincy House Grille which sells pizza to the people in his dorm. He later on entered the corporate world but found no interest in it; thus, starting up his own venture. On 2007, Hsieh received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Aside from being CEO of Zappos.com, he is also the co-founder of Link Exchange and the general manager of Venture Frogs, LLC, which is an investment firm that invested in startups like Ask Jeeves, and of course, Zappos.com.
In 2010, he authored a book called Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, wherein he details the various business lessons he’s learned throughout his life starting from his lemonade stand and pizza business leading up to Link Exchange, Zappos, and the rest. He shows that using happiness as a framework can garner you profits, passion and purpose in any business venture and in life. Tony Hsieh and his team initially went on a bus tour after the book launch, and now, the book has inspired a movement shown in the website http://www.deliveringhappiness.com/, where they aim to just draw people in to inspire them and spread happiness to them.
Coming up with Ideas
It has all the makings of a good old-fashioned Web success story—youth, idealism, a good idea, 24-hour workdays, and, somewhere down the road, the possibility of making lots and lots of money.
Our heroes this time are Sanjay Madan and Tony Hsieh, two computer science grads from Harvard who started a side business developing Web sites while working their first postcollegiate jobs at Oracle. In an effort to help their small-business clients generate traffic, the entrepreneurial pair hit upon the simple but effective idea of a banner-exchange program. That way, they figured, participating sites could get more exposure without having to pay for it.
The idea caught on immediately—within a couple of days, dozens of sites had joined the network. Within a week, Madan and Hsieh decided to put everything else aside to concentrate solely on their new project.