The Legacy of Tony Hseih and its impact on CEO Computers


Many of you may know Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.  Tony Hsieh, 46 years old, died on Nov. 27th,  and the cause of his death is still under investigation.  In many ways, Tony Hsieh was a legendry tech and business rock star. He formulated a successful formula and created many startup companies sold to Microsoft, and one became Zappos.   

I first heard of Tony Hsieh about ten years ago when his company Zappos was sold to Amazon, and he released his famous book “Delivering Happiness.”  I recommend all the business owners and executives read his book if you have not already. 

The book talks about many important factors, such as customer service, culture, purpose, passion, and profitability.  Creating the “Wow experience” when dealing with customers and putting your marketing budget in improving your customer service vs. spending it on marketing and advertising.  Your customers become your fans, and word of mouth and repeat business will become the engine of your growth.  

As a business owner, his ideas and experience were very appealing to me as I have been practicing it ever since we started CEO Computers.  I started working right out of college as an electronics engineer for a major computer company (1979-1987) called Datapoint, selling and supporting mini computers to midsize and enterprise businesses.  While working at Datapoint, I always thought I could better customer service if I had my own company.  In 1988 when we started CEO Computers, the goal was to use our expertise and knowledge to empower small businesses by using fast-growing Personal Computers and related technologies. In a sense, we did this to level the playing fields for small companies that did not have resources and capital like their enterprise competitors.

Small businesses create a special bond and friendship with their clients as a principal because they are passionate about their crafts or necessity to survive.  They may not be able to articulate a customer service policy and systems to provide an excellent service to their clients, but it comes out instinctively for them in many ways.  A good service should always be recognized and rewarded no matter who is offering it.  So it can be perpetuated and become a standard. 

In many ways, Tony Hsieh’s principles were talking and writing about in his book “Delivering Happiness” are not new and were not created by him.  He was able, like many disruptors, to apply them to his companies and scale their growth.  Small businesses are always in danger of being put out of business by Zappos, Uber, and Amazon.  It is essential to support small local businesses.  Because their survival and growth benefit the communities, they are indirectly and immediately. 

Posted in IT Blog