Business is about human potential
Tony Hsieh passed away last month leaving the business world mourning the loss of an inspiration. Hsieh was the CEO of Zappos, an online shoe selling venture in US which came to be widely recognized for its innovative work practices. Tony Hsieh was a Harvard graduate whose parents belonged to Taiwan. From the rather humble beginnings with his first venture Link Exchange, Hsieh attained a meteoric rise with his acumen in business with Zappos, the online shoe selling company which he founded in 1999. His focus was constantly on the customer’s comfort. Not many would have dared to tap into the idea of selling shoes online and making it a profitable venture. At Zappos he built such a strong work culture that anyone and everyone who worked there was committed to the cause of the business and people were allowed to grow with the company. His innovative work practices elevated Zappos to the status of one of the best companies to work for in the global market. His great belief in employees capability to self –organize is reflected in his introduction of holacracy at Zappos (Job without titles). His mantra: ‘delivering happiness’, worked wonders in his development of customer services for he believed that Zappos without it’s magnetic work culture is just another website.
The current CEO of Zappos Kedar Deshpande commented on his death, “The world has lost a tremendous visionary and incredible human being.” Tributes have poured in from various quarters ranging from the Chief Technology Officer at Paypal who considered him a ‘truly original thinker’ to the Governor of Nevada who praised his role for transforming down town Las Vegas.
His generosity and capability for forcing change catapulted him into the magnetic visionary that he is considered to be, by his contemporaries and rivals. His creativity is mirrored by his ideas of ‘try anything’, even if given half a chance an idea might succeed.
His business success in such a short time speaks volume for his capability to transform business purely by tapping into the Human potential.
Tony Hsieh will be remembered by posterity for his vision as well as his panache for tapping into Human Potential which could deliver happiness around him.