I woke up yesterday morning and my wife Jenn shared the awful news. Tony Hsieh passed away in Connecticut as a result of injuries sustained in a house fire while visiting family.
Tony was a gifted entrepreneur, best-selling author, customer experience advocate, and a kind-hearted soul. I wanted to share 3 stories to sum up the man:
Hsieh joined Shoesite.com in 1999. It would become Zappos. Tony was a pioneer in advocating for service and culture in business. One of my favorite Tony stories was about 6pm.com. In a pricing error, the site capped every price at $49. While undetected, Zappos lost $1.6 million. Hsieh honored all purchases and shared, “To those of you asking if anybody was fired, the answer is no—this was a learning experience for all of us.”
The last story is about an aspiring author. On a whim in 2011, this nobody reached out to Tony for a testimonial. Hsieh asked for the manuscript saying he’d consider it. Weeks later, and I remember where I was when receiving the email (a swim lesson for my son in Norwalk, CT), Tony shared a quote for my first book. A class act.