I just woke to the news that Amazon had acquired Zappos. I met Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO and cultural leader and uber twitterer @Zappos at the Business Innovation Factory in Providence, Rhode Island in October 2008.He delivered this talk:
Two things about him that were just utterly remarkable were
- his humility and
- his passion about the culture of his company.
So, I was puzzled about why they decided to team with Amazon althouh seeing I live in Australia and cannot order Zappos here, it makes a lot of sense to team up with Amazon for growth and scale. But the even more interesting part is why did Amazon want Zappos and pay so much for it, when Amazon already has the smarts of online shopping and a dominant brand?
Because of the INTANGIBLES- just what I blogged about two days ago. The stuff that do not factor into a standard ROI calculation. It’s unique leadership- which will be retained intact. It’s undisputed unique culture (Zappos also runs an internal event similar to our AMPLIFY, and about 10 days ago I reached out to Zappos to see if we could do something together around this) It’s brand. Zappos does not even sell Downunder, but its brand is known as cool and my kids are already browsing their online catalogue to stock up on shoes for when we are in the US later this year.
Congratulations Tony and Zappos…this is an acquisition where you were in the driving seat to negotiate and it makes good sense. And here’s hoping we can still do a hook-up between your Zappos People event and our AMPLIFY in Sydney- across continents.