Your culture is your brand. (The brand is just a lagging indicator of a company’s culture)
Other interesting ideas:
Choosing the right game: In business, one of the most important decisions for an entrepreneur or a CEO to make is what business to be in. You don’t have to play an existing game – you can define your own, or modify the current one.
Outsourcing: Never outsource your core competency.
Culture and personality fit: To make the company culture stronger, hire only people who you would also enjoy hanging out with outside the office.
Defining company culture: Company culture is the combination of all of the employees’ ideas about the culture.
Long run competitive advantage of Zappos: Brand, Culture, Pipeline (of future employees)
Pipeline as an asset: Rather than focusing on individual as assets, it is a better long-term strategy to focus on building as an asset a pipeline of people in every department.
Committable core values: “Core values” are really values only if you are willing to hire and fire people based on them. They can serve to align the whole organization and serve as a guide for employees to make their own decisions.
Problems in new industries: Anyone who wants to compete must learn the same things, so problems are just mile markers.
Doing the hard work: If you don’t do something hard, then you won’t have business. The only way to stay ahead of competition is to do the hard stuff, and do it better than anyone else.
Hiring in new industries: There are no experts in what a company is doing. Except for the company itself: they are becoming experts as they do what they do. When hiring, the best expertise new people can bring is expertise at learning and adapting and figuring new things out.
The best leaders: The best leaders are those that lead by example and are both team followers as well as team leaders. The role of a manager is to remove obstacles and enable his/her direct reports to succeed. The best leaders serve those they lead.
Three rules for public speaking: Be passionate, tell personal stories, be real.
What is happiness about: Happiness is really just about four things: perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness (number and depth of your relationships), and vision/meaning (being part of something bigger than yourself).
Inspiring, interesting and entertaining reading. Tony’s ideas and work are part of a wider trend whereby companies with strong cultures are increasingly rewarded by the marketplace. This book outlines a path Zappos took to use profits to help people follow their passion and lead them to a higher purpose – delivering happiness to others. Zappos is a company built for Linchpins, and it works.