By Samantha Bandasack
Tony Hsieh is an Asian-American, of Taiwanese decent, who was born on December 12, 1973. Growing up the eldest of three boys in California’s BayArea, he attended the prestigious Branson School in Marin County. Like his career now, Hsieh was able to make the make the grades, but still know how to have fun. After high school, Tony attended and graduated from Harvard, where met Alfred Lin, who would become his business partners.
After graduation Hsieh went to work for Oracle and five months later found he was not a fit for the corporate world. Soon after leaving Oracle, he founded LinkExchange, which was a popular internet advertising cooperative. By 1997 the company had received $3 million in funding from Sequoia Capital. The company was growing at a rapid rate and in 1998 Microsoft bought it from Hsieh and his partners for $265 million dollars.
Tony used that capital to expand his investments when he found a new business opportunity. He co-founded Venture Frogs with Alfred Lin, which gave the friends a way to invest in tech and internet startup companies. Zappos was one of the businesses Hsieh invested in with Venture Frogs, after Nick Swinmum approached him with the business idea. Hsieh almost declined the investment because he didn’t think people would be interested in another online shoe store. In its first year Zappos made $1.6 million in sales, and with Hsieh’s take over, Zappos revenue sky-rocketed to about $1 billion by 2009. Under his leadership, Zappos started using social media to reach customers for feedback. Hsieh sold Zappos to Amazon for $1.2 billion on July 22, 2009.
In 2010, Hsieh wrote and released “Delivering Happiness,” a book about his entrepreneurial achievements and advises people about turning their business into a success. The book was on the New York Times Bestsellers list for 27 straight weeks. He understands for a business to succeed there must be happiness and harmony among employees and customers. There has to be productivity and satisfaction and increased sales for a business to dominate.
While he may not be a household name, Tony Hsieh is a successful businessman who offers his advise about business and entrepreneurial ventures to the public. Tony is currently living in Las Vegas, NV.
image via Inc.com