Fashion News: Zappos Happiness Quotient

June 9, 2010

Tony Hsieh – CEO, Zappos – Inc. Magazine

As many of you already know, online mega shoe and apparel store, Zappos, was purchased by Amazon a few months back. It was a surprise to so many of us. Why did they sell when they appeared to be such a success?

Well, the reason surprised me. Fundamentally, it was not about Zappos fiscally overextending themselves or fearing any competition. In a recent interview with Inc. magazine, Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh clears up any misconceptions and shares the real reason he finally decided to sell.

Tony states that Zappos’ board of directors was primarily interested in maximizing profits and investing less on employee and corporate culture. And that didn’t sit well with him. Tony firmly believes that genuinely happy employees will lead to happy customers and, ultimately, sustainable high profits. The company’s historical track record had proven Tony’s happiness quotient worked well and Tony did not want to change it. A more thorough explanation can be found in the Inc. article.

After a few attempts to get Tony to sell, Jeff Bezos over at Amazon finally got a “Yes” from Tony and says he fully supports the young, savvy CEO’s successful business ethos.

Zappos will remain a separate entity within Amazon and Tony will continue to be at the helm. Here is a fun and insightful behind-the-scenes interview at Zappos headquarters by CBS Sunday Morning show that ran the other day. It highlights the methods behind the madness that is Zappos corporate culture.

Tony Hsieh just released his new book this week, “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” which undoubtedly you can find at Amazon.

Do you notice the “happiness quotient” when you shop or interact with customer service employees? I would really like to know the specific ways customer service affects the way you do your shopping?

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