The Zappos Case: Can We Get Both Happiness And Profits ?


I came across an article from Tony Hsieh who built Zappos with the vision of putting his people first, at the center of the company’s core values.  But when the financial crisis hit,  investors wanted their money back with the old mentality :

…the board took the conventional view — namely, that a business should focus on profitability first and then use the profits to do nice things for its employees. The board’s attitude was that my “social experiments” might make for good PR but that they didn’t move the overall business forward. The board wanted me, or whoever was CEO, to spend less time on worrying about employee happiness and more time selling shoes.

Tony Hsieh managed to sell Zappos to Amazon in stock without changing the company philosophy as long as Hsieh can delivered results on targeted profits and growth.  In the first quarter of 2010, net sales at Zappos were up almost 50 percent, and several hundred new employee were hired.

What Makes Zappos Culture Unique?  “the core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our business strategies. These are the ten core values that we live by“:

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

More here : http://about.zappos.com/our-unique-culture/zappos-core-values

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3 thoughts on “The Zappos Case: Can We Get Both Happiness And Profits ?

  1. Anne Tyler Lord June 10, 2010 at 12:19 am Reply

    I just saw a news story on this company on CBS Sunday morning. It was very fascinating. Then a couple days later I saw this video (which is related to your last post) of Daniel Pink speaking on motivation with really great drawing to illustrate his points. I think it speaks to some of the reasons why Zappos is so successful.

    • Anne Egros June 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm Reply

      Thank you very much this video, is really great!

  2. [...] drive customer value and business performance. Good examples of such companies are Google or Zappos with its CEO’s vision of putting his people [...]

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