Meeting Tony Hsieh at Zappos

We reached out to Tony Hsieh, CEO at Zappos in Las Vegas because we heard that he loves to party and appreciates technology.  He got back to us letting us know he was interested in meeting us and seeing the technology, so he flew us out and booked us rooms at the Gold Spike, one of his hotels as part of the Downtown Project in the old Las Vegas on Freemont Street.

Of course, before we went out to visit Tony we prepared by reading his book ‘Delivering Happiness’, studying the history of Zappos, and his controversial take on corporate structure, Holacracy, that if you study it makes a lot of sense to simplify an organization structure as the old structure has a lot of issues that make it less productive and worse, less inventive!

Tony was very kind to us. We got to tour and see the inner workings of Zappos.  The staff was energetic and nice, of course we felt that could just be a front, but we did speak with employees on several occasions outside of the company and asked their thoughts and overall it was positive.  

Technology Advances Incrementally

We discussed the Versa Prima with Tony at Atomic Liquors, a local bar that supposedly back in the day patrons would sit on the roof and watch the military test out atomic bombs.  While Tony thought the direction of our technology was cool, he suggested having an intermediate step for the technology as technology grows incrementally.  He mentioned that he needed a light up hat for Life is Beautiful.

Our creativity heads kicked in as we pondered Tony’s advice about the incremental steps in technology growth and making a light up hat on our fly back to San Diego.  Many questions were floating in our heads: What does the light up hat look like? What material? How will we incorporate our current technology? How would it be assembled? Who will produce it?