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Culture A To Z

by Miki Saxon

By now, anybody who reads or watches the news knows that Amazon acquired Zappos, even if they don’t know about Zappos (a man asked me what a zappos was because it seemed very expensive).

Jeanne Bliss quoted a line from Tony Hsieh’s internal email (emphasis mine), “Over the next few days, you will probably read headlines that say “Amazon acquires Zappos” or “Zappos sells to Amazon”. While those headlines are technically correct, they don’t really properly convey the spirit of the transaction. (I personally would prefer the headline “Zappos and Amazon sitting in a tree…”)”

I agree that it’s a marriage made in heaven.

Both companies boast management that is passionately focused on customer experience, are long-term thinkers, know how to plan and are talented at executing.

Some pundits are focusing on the cultural compatibility and whether Zappos will be forced to change because it’s now part of a public company.

People tend to forget that Jeff Bezos is the CEO that Wall Street loves to hate.

They hated it when he expanded out of books; they predicted Amazon’s demise when it used its expertise to do fulfillment for other companies and again when Amazon jumped into cloud computing.

Bezos’ attitude is encapsulated in this short interview ending with a perfect wrap when asked if he feels vindicated by the company’s success.

‘No. I’ve taken plenty of criticism, but it’s always been about our stock price and never about our customer experience. After the bubble burst, I would sit down with our harshest critics, and at the end of the meeting they would say, “I’m a huge customer.” You know that when your harshest critics are among your best customers, you can’t be doing that badly.

Image credit: 07272009 on YouTube

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