Thursday, April 15, 2010

ShopToEarth Learns from Zappos: Culture is Everything!

No big corner offices in this real world. Only culture.
In a world where a lack of discipline, ethics, and integrity seem to be headline news, it’s becoming more important to point out those doing it right; and Zappo’s is one of those companies…doing things right.

Lisa Buyer and I had the opportunity to hear Tony Hseih talk about Zappos happiness culture when he was a keynote speaker at PubCon Las Vegas 2009, inspiring  me to visit  Zappo’s Las Vegas headquarters a couple times in the last year and come away thoroughly impressed.

They had me at ‘Hello’!
From the minute you walk into the front door and into the not necessarily neat (but clean and spunky) reception area (read memorabilia area), you feel that the Zappo’s culture of “Delivering Happiness” is alive and well. Then the same Zen-like feeling continues as you start the approx. one-hour tour through the memory lane-like marketing department, product development department, sales departments , human resources and customer service department, and are introduced to and interact with as many Zappos’s employees as you like.

Best suits, no suit
I even had the opportunity to sit at CEO Tony Hsieh’s desk which is in clear view of all the employees as are the other execs in the company.  No BIG-CORNER offices for these guys. Nobody was wearing a suit; everybody was dressed casual, very relaxed, and comfortable (yet focused and happy).  There were many other nuances I found impressive about Zappo’s, like relaxed support-rep call procedures…. just make the customer happy, and the nap room. I took many things away from the experience that will benefit me and others moving forward. 

My suggestion: If you visit Las Vegas, save time for a Zap from Zappos, a must!  Schedule a tour of the Zappo’s headquarters in Las Vegas (it’s free and very inspirational) if you get the chance.  You will more than likely come away with a different outlook than you went in with. Culture shock at its best.
Follow Tony on Twitter @zappos, I do!

1 comment:

  1. Dan,

    Thanks for the great post! I am so glad that the tour left such a good impression. Our culture really is a way of life, and I'm glad that it comes across that way.

    If any readers are heading to Las Vegas, please come by and take a tour!