I was both surprised and saddened to learn about the death of Tony Hsieh this weekend. Forty-six years old is far too young.
Though best known as a pioneer of e-commerce (he was previously CEO of Zappos) and for his brilliant/wacky management ideas, Tony was also a city builder, particularly in Las Vegas.
Here’s an excerpt from a recent WSJ article:
In Las Vegas, Mr. Hsieh became beloved locally for investing $350 million into revitalizing part of the city’s downtown including real estate, restaurants, retail and a tech startup fund starting in 2012. His vision included the development Container Park, a quirky shopping and entertainment center where retailers operate in converted shipping containers. Visitors are greeted by a giant sculpture of a praying mantis that shoots fire.
But perhaps more importantly, everything I have read this weekend about Tony describes him as a good human being with a great sense of humor and a commitment to “delivering happiness.”
Here’s another excerpt from the same article:
After Zappos had a rash of late deliveries, he sent an apology note to customers and provided a phone number for use by anyone who suffered “undue hardship.” As for those who were merely annoyed, he said, they were welcome to call Zappos and “ask whoever answers the phone to do something weird and embarrassing, like sing ‘I’m a Little Teacup.’”
Happiness. I can’t think of anything better to be delivering to people in the world right now.