≡ Menu

Tony Hsieh Quotes

Tony Hsieh Zappos

Tony Hsieh quotes: leaders are lame, indirect marketing, paying people to quit, being in the happiness biz, and other gems from the digital entrepreneur.

“At Zappos, we really view culture as our number one priority.  We decided that if we get the culture right, most of the stuff, like building a brand around delivering the very best customer service, will just take care of itself.”

“Don’t play the games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them.”

“I’ve found that it’s more interesting to build relationships with people that are not in the business world because they always can offer unique perspectives and insights, and also because those relationship tend to be more genuine.”

“When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny.”

“I think when people say they dread going into work on Monday morning, it’s because they know they are leaving a piece of themselves at home.  Why not see what happens when you challenge your employees to bring all of their talents to their job and reward them not for doing it just like everyone else, but for pushing the envelope, being adventurous, creative, and open-minded, and trying new things?”

“The ultimate definition of success is: you could lose everything that you have and truly be okay with it.  Your happiness isn’t based on external factors.”

“Personally I cringe at the word ‘leader.’  It’s more about getting people to do what they’re passionate about and putting them in the right context or setting.  They’re the ones doing the hard work.”

“Open, honest communication is the best foundation for any relationship.”

“Our philosophy is about delivering happiness to our customers and employees.”

“I made a list of the happiest periods in my life, and I realized that none of them involved money.  I realized that building stuff and being creative and inventive made me happy.  Connecting with a friend and talking through the entire night until the sun rose made me happy.  Trick-or-treating in middle school with a group of my closest friends made me happy.  Pickles made me happy.”

“Don’t be cocky.  Don’t be flashy.  There’s always someone better than you.”

“We’re willing to give up short-term profits or revenue growth to make sure we have the best culture.  In fact, after orientation we offer people $2,000 not to work at Zappos.  The ones who stay are right for our culture.”

“We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to.  And by commit, we mean that you’re willing to hire and fire based on them.  If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.”

“Educate yourself.  Read books and learn from others who have done it before.”

“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”

“Wake up every day and ask yourself not only what is the 1% improvement I can change to make Zappos better, but also what is the 1% improvement I can change to make myself better personally and professionally?  In the end we, as Zappos, can’t grow unless we, as individuals, grow too.”

“Learn by doing.  Theory is nice but nothing replaces actual experience.”

“Never accept or be too comfortable with the status quo, because the companies that get into trouble are historically the ones that aren’t able to adapt to change and respond quickly enough.”

“I’d rather spend money on things that improve the customer experience than on marketing.”

“I thought about how easily we are all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness… when ultimately… happiness is really just about enjoying life.”

“Customer service shouldn’t be a department, it should be the entire company.”

“For me, my role is about unleashing what people already have inside them – that is maybe suppressed in most work environments.”

“The best businesses are really ones that can combine passion, profits, and purpose.”

“People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they always remember how you made them feel.  That’s what matters the most.”

“Zappos is a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes.”

In business you must do something that’s above and beyond what’s expected.”

“I believe that there’s something interesting about anyone and everyone.  You just have to figure out what that something is.”

“Envision, create, and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you.”

“The problem when someone feels burned out, bored, unchallenged, or stifled by their work is not the job itself but rather the environment and playground rules given to them to do the job at hand.”

“We must never lose our sense of urgency in making improvements.  We must never settle for ‘good enough,’ because good is the enemy of great.”

“Good service comes naturally from satisfied employees who embraced the company culture.”

“Every employee can affect your company’s brand, not just the front-line employees.”

“Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger.”

“Have fun.  The game is a lot more enjoyable when you’re trying to do more than just make money.”

“For me, the most fun is change or growth.  There are definitely elements of both that I like.”

“It’s more important that we make an emotional connection with the customer.”

“No matter what your past has been, you have a spotless future.”

“Launching a business is kind of like a motorboat: you can go very quickly and turn fast.  A bigger business is like a cruise ship: there are lots of amenities and you can go a lot further but it’s harder to turn quickly.”

“It’s important to constantly challenge and stretch yourself, and not be stuck in a job where you don’t feel like you are growing or learning.”

“Without conscious effort, inertia always wins.”

“Our business is based on repeat customers and word of mouth.  There’s a lot of value in building up our brand name and what it stands for.  We view the money that we spend on customer service as marketing money that improves our brand.”

“There’s a big difference between motivation and inspiration.  Inspire through values… and motivation takes care of itself.”

Cory Johnson: your momma’s neighbor’s side chick’s last Uber Eats delivery guy’s third-favorite blogger. Here’s how he makes millions of dollars blogging without being bothered.