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

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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 :


About Anne Egros, Executive, Career and Expat Life Coach

Zest and Zen is a blog about Expat Life Challenges, Global Leadership, Intercultural Communication, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Change Psychology, Life Transitions
This entry was posted in Executive Coaching. Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Pingback: Beyond Motivation: How to Engage Employees To Boost The Economy « Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach At Zest and Zen International

  2. 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.

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