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what makes you compelling- zappos

what makes you compelling- zappos - On a Scale of 1 to 10...

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On a Scale of 1 to 10, How Weird Are You?  Published: January 9, 2010 This interview with  Tony Hsieh,  the chief executive of Zappos.com, was  conducted and condensed by  Adam Bryant.   Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times Tony Hsieh is C.E.O. of Zappos.com, the shoe seller that Amazon acquired last year. A core Zappos value, he says, is to “create fun and a little weirdness,” so he values individuality in hiring. Q.  What are some of the most important leadership lessons you’ve learned? A.  After college, a roommate and I started a company called LinkExchange  in 1996, and it grew to about 100 or so people, and then we ended up  selling the company to  Microsoft  in 1998. From the outside, it looked like it  was a great acquisition, $265 million, but most people don’t know the real  reason why we ended up selling the company.  It was because the company culture just went completely downhill. When it  was starting out, when it was just 5 or 10 of us, it was like your typical dot- com. We were all really excited, working around the clock, sleeping under  our desks, had no idea what day of the week it was. But we didn’t know any  better and didn’t pay attention to company culture. By the time we got to 100 people, even though we hired people with the  right skill sets and experiences, I just dreaded getting out of bed in the  morning and was hitting that snooze button over and over again.  Q.  Why?  A.  I just didn’t look forward to going to the office. The passion and  excitement were no longer there. That’s kind of a weird feeling for me 
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because this was a company I co-founded, and if I was feeling that way, how  must the other employees feel? That’s actually why we ended up selling the  company.  Financially, it meant I didn’t have to work again if I didn’t want to. So that  was the lens through which I was looking at things. It’s basically asking the  question, what would you want to do if you won the lottery? For me, I  didn’t want to be part of a company where I dreaded going into the office.  So when I joined Zappos about a year later, I wanted to make sure that I  didn’t make the same mistake that I had made at LinkExchange, in terms of  the company culture going downhill. So for us, at Zappos, we really view  culture as our No. 1 priority. We decided that if we get the culture right,  most of the stuff, like building a brand around delivering the very best  customer service, will just take care of itself.  Q.  So how do you do that? A.
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