The year was 1999, and our founder Nick Swinmurn was walking around a mall in San Francisco looking for a pair of shoes. One store had the right style, but not the right color. Another store had the right color, but not the right size. Nick spent the next hour in the mall, walking from store to store, and finally went home empty-handed and frustrated.
At home, Nick tried looking for his shoes online and was again unsuccessful. Although there were a lot of "mom and pop" stores selling shoes online, what was interesting to Nick was that there was no major online retailer that specialized in shoes. So, since it was 1999 and anything seemed possible at the time, Nick decided to quit his day job and start an online shoe retailer... and Zappos.com was born!
In 1999, at the age of 24, Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos as an advisor and investor, and eventually became CEO, where he helped Zappos grow from almost no sales to over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually, while simultaneously making Fortune Magazine’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list. In November 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon.com in a deal valued at $1.2 billion on the day of closing.
Tony’s first book, "Delivering Happiness", was published on June 7, 2010, and outlines his path from starting a worm farm to life at Zappos. Tony shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success and happiness. “Delivering Happiness”, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list and has remained on the list every week since June 2010. Most recently in October 2011, Tony was interviewed by Barbara Walters when she interviewed self-made super rich entrepreneurs. The piece included a visit to the headquarters of Zappos.com that was dubbed what “might just be the wackiest workplace in America.”
In addition to his responsibilities as CEO of Zappos.com, Tony is leading the “Downtown Project,” a group committed to transforming downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world. This transfor- mation includes the coordination of the Fall 2013 relocation of the Zappos.com offices from Henderson, Nevada to downtown Las Vegas.