What we learned from Tony HsiehDecember 1, 2020
Our hearts hurt with the tragic passing of Tony Hsieh, a pioneering thinker and humanitarian.
Zappos summarized the loss of their former CEO in their statement, “The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being.”
The founders of AlphaGroup – Stephen Douthwaite, Ed Shifflett, and Mike Smith – had the pleasure of working and learning from Hsieh when they were invited by him and his team to visit the Downtown Regeneration project in Las Vegas in the summer of 2012.
Hsieh was well known for his leadership of online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos. He had recently retired after spending 20 years with the company, Zappos CEO Kedar Deshpande wrote in a statement Friday.
Douthwaite shares his personal experience:
“A lot of what we do in terms of giving and focusing on culture is a direct result of our experience with Tony Hsieh.
“Tony’s approach was based on a vision that we all thrive when working together for each other. He had a wonderful foresight of people coming together to create energy and ideas. One of his approaches was to create environments for people to collide, to meet and speak and spark creative solutions.
“He also believed that corporate entities have a responsibility to invest not only in their business and their staff, but also in their communities. Tony personally financed the regeneration of the ravaged economy of downtown Vegas and succeeded in developing a vibrant arts, culture, business, and technology community.
“In 2012, Ed, Mike, and I visited Hsieh’s Downtown Vegas project with hopes of gaining investment and ultimately gained far more from our experience. Sitting in Tony’s apartment, we saw how he collaborated with others and inspired his entire operation to be different, create more, and give more.
“Tony’s passing is a sad and tragic loss to the world and just reinforces to us the importance of continuing to give and create.”