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Why I Sold Zappos. The first time Amazon.com tried to buy Zappos, we said no without even thinking.

Why I Sold Zappos

It was the summer of 2005, and Zappos, the start-up into which I'd poured the past five years of my life (and almost all of my money), finally seemed to be on the right track. Zappos sells shoes and apparel online, but what distinguished us from our competitors was that we'd put our company culture above all else. We'd bet that by being good to our employees -- for instance, by paying for 100 percent of health care premiums, spending heavily on personal development, and giving customer service reps more freedom than at a typical call center -- we would be able to offer better service than our competitors. Better service would translate into lots of repeat customers, which would mean low marketing expenses, long-term profits, and fast growth. Amazingly, it all seemed to be working. These ideas about the power of our company culture had yet to be proved.

But our board of directors had other ideas. Why Amazon Is Copying Zappos and Paying Employees to Quit. Last week, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos released his annual letter to shareholders.

Why Amazon Is Copying Zappos and Paying Employees to Quit

As is the case every year, it is a tour de force of ideas and initiatives about the customer experience (Amazon Prime), disruptive technology (Fire TV), fast-growing product initiatives (Amazon Web Services), and strategic consistency. (As he does every year, Bezos attached his first letter to shareholders from back in 1997 to underscore the company’s long-term commitments.) Still, for all these big, cutting-edge innovations, it was a small, pre-existing idea, something that Amazon borrowed from one its subsidiaries, that generated the most public attention.

Bezos’s letter unveiled his well-named Pay to Quit program, in which the company offers fulfillment-center employees one-time payments to leave Amazon. Each employee gets the offer once a year. If Pay to Quit sounds familiar, there’s a reason. 20 Ways Zappos Reinforces Its Company Culture. Are you looking for information about how to consciously create the corporate culture that will help you accomplish your business goals?

20 Ways Zappos Reinforces Its Company Culture

Zappos consciously creates and reinforces its corporate culture. The work environment provided for employees won't attract every job searcher and it's not for every employee. But, the people who fit the corporate culture thrive working for Zappos. In an interview with Rebecca Henry, the former Director of Human Resources for Zappos, two key factors stood out. The company consciously decides what the corporate culture needs to look like and it consciously reinforces and supports that culture through all Human Resources and management work systems. Here are twenty ways that Zappos chooses and maintains its culture. The company defined its corporate culture with its ten core values. The Happiness Culture: Zappos Isn't a Company.

The thing about Zappos is that it really might be a model for a new way to build and run a business.

The Happiness Culture: Zappos Isn't a Company

Okay, now that seems like a stretch at first glance for an on-line etailer who's major claim to fame is that they sell a ton of shoes. But if you read the Zappos CEO's new book, Delivering Happiness, you may come to believe that Tony Hsieh (pronounced: Shay) is really on to something. "It's about giving employees permission and encouraging them to just be themselves," says Hsieh. Seem a bit far-fetched? Read on, and see what you think. It all began with worms, before shoes. Are entrepreneurs born or made? While earthworms didn't work out, a teenage button-making business turned a profit, and Hsieh was hooked on building businesses. "I think entrepreneurs view the failures as getting one step closer to the success.

After a few attempts, and a big win at LinkExchange, Tony was looking for his next thing. Today, of course, Zappos is way more than shoes. Early on the postman was Tony's friend. Culture Book - Zappos Insights. Zappos’ WOW Philosophy: Tips For Fostering Customer Delight. As inbound marketers, it is easy for us to get caught up in the process of generating leads.

Zappos’ WOW Philosophy: Tips For Fostering Customer Delight

After all, isn’t the purpose of business to acquire customers and make money? However, we often become so focused on attracting customers that we forget about a factor that is just as important: customer delight. Customer delight is stage four in the Inbound Methodology, and its significance cannot be overlooked. In fact, did you know that it is six to seven times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer? By delighting current customers, you establish trust and create relationships, so your customers will want to repurchase your product or service. Did you know? Zappos.com is a company known for its commitment to delighting its customers. Recommended for YouWebcast: Zero to Millions: The Secrets Behind Building a Business and Growing a Digital Audience “Deliver WOW Through Service”

Zappos to employees: Get behind our ‘no bosses’ approach, or leave with severance. (Elizabeth Tenety/The Washington Post) No job titles.

Zappos to employees: Get behind our ‘no bosses’ approach, or leave with severance

No traditional bosses. No conventional corporate hierarchy. Inside Zappos.