I’ve been a long-time fan of Zappos and my experience with them goes back to 2001. At different points in my career I’ve been a vendor, customer and affiliate. As a matter of fact, about the only relationship I’ve not had with them is as an employee and this has more to do with the fact that they’re based in Las Vegas than anything else. Based on this nearly decade-long relationship, I was excited to see that the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, wrote a book about how the company was built entitled Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.
It was a lot of fun to read about the early days at Zappos. I remember the Venture Frogs office on Van Ness in San Francisco and can readily recall seeing inventory sitting all around the early Zappos offices on my first visit there. I also remember being set-up as a drop-ship vendor for them and all of the headaches associated with it. I can recall the day when we found out they were going to start buying inventory and how I knew that they had finally turned a (major) corner.
I remember working with my first buyer at Zappos, Galen, who had just joined the company from Nordstrom’s (I think) and who (I’m assuming) tells his story about the move from San Francisco to Las Vegas starting on page 131 of the book. Finally, I remember being invited to one of their first vendor parties at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas as part of a WSA trade show I was attending. At that party I was introduced to Tony’s father and had a great conversation with him about the success of the company.
So, let me extend my most heart-felt congratulations to the Zappos team on an amazing first 10 years and the recent Amazon transaction. You have a fan for life and I’m excited to see what you come up with during the next 10 years and beyond.