Saturday’s Guest: Tony Hsieh of Zappos

Saturday’s guest will be Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, General Manager of Venture Frogs, coming to you live from SXSW.  Many of you already know Zappos and the amazing customer service and culture that surrounds the company but what do you know about it’s CEO?  I thought I’d focus on somethings you might not know:


– He attended Harvard, class of 1995

– He Co-Founded LinkExchange and sold the company to Microsoft in 1998 for $265M

– He is a Co-Founder of Venture Frogs an incubator / investment company

– Did you know Tony isn’t a founder of Zappos?  He was and investor and advisor in the beginning but quickly joined the Zappos team in 2000 and yes he recently sold Zappos to Amazon in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing.

– He has a book coming out soon, Delivering Happiness, release date June 7, 2010.

Some of the highlights of Delivering Happiness include:

– Pay new employees $2000 to quit.

– Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company, not just a department.

– Focus on company culture as the #1 priority.

– Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business.

– Help employees grow both personally and professionally.

– Seek to change the world.

– Oh, and make money too.

Here is a few of Kevin Rose’s favorites quotes:

“It may seem sometimes like we don’t know what we’re doing. And it’s true: we don’t. That’s a bit scary, but you can take comfort in knowing that nobody else knows how to do what we’re doing either… so there are no experts in what we’re doing. Except for us: we are becoming experts as we do this.”

“The role of a manager is to remove obstacles and enable his/her direct reports to succeed. This means the best leaders are servant-leaders. They serve those they lead.”


Special thanks to Bing and Sonos and our regular sponsors DNAMail, Ustream, WebSpy and PowerVPS for bringing TWiST to SXSW.  We will have more exciting sponsors announced soon.

Details: Saturday the 13th at 2pm (Pacific), 5pm (Eastern), 10pm (London), March 14th 9am (Sydney) at the Six Lounge (117 West 4th Street Austin, TX 78701)  if you plan on attending live the first 200 in the door get two drink tickets.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/charliellewellin/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

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