We finagled our way on board the Zappos “Happiness Bus” at Web 2.0 Summit and spoke with CEO Tony Hsieh about why Zappos is such happy place to work, why the company is hiring another 2000 people in 2011, and how it’s positioned itself brand-wise to give Virgin a run for its money. Key takeaway: The best business strategy is being yourself.
Zappos is an online retailer specializing in shoes. In addition to shoes they sell handbags, clothing, eyewear, watches and accessories. The company is currently based in Henderson, NV, with a warehouse in Shepherdsville, KY. In addition, Zappos has a small number of brick-and-mortar outlet stores. The name Zappos is derived from the Spanish word zapatos, meaning shoes.
Tony originally got involved with Zappos as an advisor and investor in 1999, about 2 months after the company was founded. Over time, Tony ended up spending more and more time with the company because it was both the most fun and the most promising out of all the companies that he was involved with. He eventually joined Zappos full time in 2000. Under his leadership, Zappos has grown gross merchandise sales from $1.6M in 2000 to $840M in...