I Like That CEO Tony Hsieh Runs ZAPPOS Very Different and Lives in an Airstream

I care a lot more about experiences than…. stuff.
The 41-year-old CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, lives in a 240-square-foot Airstream trailer, and his rent is 950 bucks in downtown Las Vegas. He also, might be running a huge money-making company unlike any other CEO in the planet earth.

He’s also invested $350 million dollars into to Downtown Las Vegas, effectively turning it and his company Zappos into a city by itself, run by its employees, in a style of management that he calls Holacracy. From reading up on it, the concept itself seems pretty basic. The starter rule, no one has a title. Everyone can work on whatever they like. But to make sure that there is some sort of structure and path forward, its reported that everyone is assigned to a “circle,” and that there are reeeeeally extensive team meetings on the reg.

Coming from a corporate background, and having left to start and run a business with two partners, it basically sounds to me like he is attempting to do what all of the newly minted, new money start-ups say they want to do and that is stay like a startup.

You can click on some of the links below to see some of the positive stuff written about it and some of the negative stuff, but I think that in theory, this is a brilliant idea and look at a utopian company. But, having been brainwashed by history, it just doesn’t seem to be sustainable. Like everything, most stuff you throw against the wall when you are printing money, works… but when things start to get a little bit tight for a quarter or a year, people start getting blamed. Fingers start pointing. People get fired.

If no one is the boss and everyone is the boss, how do you determine and fix things when they go wrong? Who has the proverbial hammer when someone in the circle is just not working out and needs to kick rocks?

I’m sure they have an HR department and they have handled these situations plenty, but I’m curious… may have to do some more investigating.

I hope it works though. I love shoes. I love Vegas. I love companies that think outside of the box. I really want this to be successful and Tony seems like one helluva guy.

About Tony, he’s internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He’s currently the CEO of online shoe and clothing shop Zappos. Prior to joining Zappos, he co-founded the internet advertising network LinkExchange, which he sold to Microsoft in 1999 for $265 million.

In 2009, Amazon.com announced the acquisition of Zappos.com in a deal valued at approximately $1.2 billion. It is said that he made at least $214 million from the sale, not including money made through his former investment firm Venture Frogs.

Hmph, wonder if he is cooking up something to sell in 2019.

By the way, two biggest surprises from the video:

1. 4 pairs of shoes??!??!! Bruh, come on….

2. His Airstream is only 240 square feet. I’m sure its the bomb, but dammit man, get a place with a proper bed. I get it though, I would live in an Airstream too if my 62 inch tv would fit. Serious shit.

Tony Hsieh Aristream

Why Zappos’ CEO Lives in a Trailer, and 13 Other Things You Don’t Know About Him – ABC

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to employees: Embrace self-management or leave by the end of the month – BI

Why Tony Hsieh Is Turning Zappos Into a City – INC.

Tony Hsieh’s Workplace Dream: Is Holacracy A Big Failure? – FORBES

At Zappos, Pushing Shoes and a Vision – NYT