If you missed 20/20 last week, you missed an interesting piece about Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh and the evangelical way he keeps employees happy. At a young age, his parents wanted him to be a lawyer or doctor for his future career and even forced him to play instruments. He didn’t want to do any of these. In fact, when he was a kid, instead of practicing the piano, he played a recording of himself playing it, while his parents were in a different room. Even going through Harvard, he was a maverick. He skipped classes, but still passes all his classes. Although he speaks Mandarin, he signed up to take beginner’s Mandarin. His advice to future entrepreneurs: Skip school and funnel the money you would have used for school straight into you startup business.
His success in business is undeniable. He sold his company Linkexchange for $265 million to Microsoft because he wasn’t happy going to work anymore. With his involvement in his next venture Zappos, he vowed to keep the company culture to something, he would have fun doing. Although Zappos is known for shoes, Tony wasn’t really interested in shoes. He much more interested in developing a company culture, where you can have fun and let your own personality shine. Zappos offers free food, fully covered medical benefits, even life coaches to its employees.
Zappos is more like a lifestyle rather than just a job. Last year, Zappos was sold to Amazon.com. Tony Hsieh is still working there getting paid $36,000 a year and sitting in his own cubicle next to his assistant. However, he’s still got bigger plan including spreading the word on how to deliver happiness and revitalize downtown Las Vegas.
Lessons From Billionaire : Tony Hsieh on 20/20