Posted by Shirley Brady on April 18, 2012 12:31 PM
Above, watch Ingrid Vanderveldt's interview with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh at the recent SXSWi confab in Austin, which Dell just released on its YouTube channel. Watch the video and read Ingrid's takeaways below.
Tony Hsieh is an entrepreneur who needs no introduction. Tony is the CEO of Zappos.com (follow him on Twitter @zappos), the successful online shoe retailer, and also a #1 New York Times Book Seller for his new book, "Delivering Happiness."
Tony stopped to chat with us at SXSWi to talk about the keys to his success as an entrepreneur and his new initiative to relocate the Zappos campus and re-invigorate the local downtown Las Vegas community. When I asked Tony what the keys to his success were, he said research has shown there are two important ingredients that great companies have, which is what he's used in building Zappos: 1) strong cultures and 2) a vision that has a higher purpose beyond money, markets, profits etc — a positive vision that enables them to generate even MORE profits in the long run. Tony even said he sold his previous company because the companies cultures was going downhill and it was no longer fun to work there (which led him to create Zappos).
Another really interesting thing Tony is involved with is an upcoming $350 million project to rebuild Las Vegas, where he will be moving Zappos to the old city hall in downtown Las Vegas. Rather than build a dream campus like other companies, Tony wanted to integrate with the local community and help re-vitalize downtown Vegas, which will both help the city and help Zappos to get more employees. In the video he talks about the plans and challenges of viewing "the city as a startup." For entrepreneurs who want to get involved, Tony suggested checking out the website downtownproject.com where you can check out what's going on and even set up a Zappos-run tour of the facilities and downtown Las Vegas.
To wrap up, I wanted Tony to give a piece of advice for entrepreneurs following their own path to success. Tony said, "Be true to yourself. Make sure that whatever you're doing, the primary motivator of that is not money. Think about what would you be so passionate doing that you'd be happy doing it for 10 years even if you never made any money from it and that's what you should be doing...stay true to yourself." Great words from a great entrepreneur. Make sure to check out Tony's new Las Vegas project, the Zappos website, and his new book "Delivering Happiness."