Tony Hsieh, Zappos, and Amazon

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Tony Hsieh was a legendary entrepreneur who built Zappos and sold the online shoe retailer to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009. He was known for unusual experiments in management and business structure, and for pursuing long-term passions over short-term profits, as described in his 2010 book, Delivering Happiness.

A new book, Happy at Any Cost: The Revolutionary Vision and Fatal Quest of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, tells the rest of the story of Hsieh's life, leading up to his tragic death from injuries sustained in a fire in New London, Conn., in November 2020. The book also goes behind-the-scenes of the company's relationship with Amazon.

Wall Street Journal reporter Kirsten Grind, who wrote the book with her colleague Katherine Sayre, joins me on the GeekWire Podcast to talk about what they discovered in writing the book, and what we can learn from Hsieh's life.

Kirsten Grind was previously based in the Seattle area as a reporter for the Puget Sound Business Journal. Her reporting on the collapse of Washington Mutual formed the basis for her first book, The Lost Bank.

Resources: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255; Crisis Text Line: 741741

Happy at Any Cost: The Revolutionary Vision and Fatal Quest of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, by Kirsten Grind and Katherine Sayre, is published by Simon and Schuster, and available wherever books are sold.

Podcast edited by Curt Milton; Theme music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

285 episodes