What can Tony Hsieh teach us about business

“How can I know the truth?” When it comes to marketing, how often is this question on your mind? I mean, you probably come across new marketing ideas, strategies and tactics every day. The short answer to the question with which I opened this post is: The truth needs to be experienced. The second best answer to the same question in my opinion is to intuitively perceive truth by learning through experience of others. (A concept similar to Biomimicry* – see below.)  This is why I tell stories about people who have achieved success in marketing.

Today I’d like to share with you the article that Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, recently wrote for the Huffington Post. Tony writes: “Over the past 10 years, Zappos.com, the company where I am CEO, has grown from almost no sales to over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually, driven primarily by repeat customers and word of mouth, while simultaneously making FortuneMagazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list two years in a row.”

I highly recommend that you read the whole article (just click here), but before you proceed, I’d like to bring to your attention something that Tony mentioned in the first part of his article. He said that Zappos made FortuneMagazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list two years in a row. For the long answer about how they managed to create a great culture at Zappos, please visit their website or check out Tony’s new book. The following is the short answer: In my workshops, I often speak about many additional and unexpected benefits companies usually get from positive word of mouth. One of them is this – the positive word-of-mouth about a company goes a long way in both retaining good employees and attracting new ones. Now, first please read the article and then consider the following observations:

Lesson #1: Dig into it deeper. Ask yourself, “How much do I really know about ______?”

Lesson #2: Upgrade your thinking. You are leading you. Expose yourself to new books.

Lesson #3: Be preoccupied with the long run.

*Biomimicry (from the Greek words bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is an ancient concept recently returning to scientific thought that examines nature, its models, systems, processes and elements – and emulates or takes inspiration from them to solve human problems.