Today In Twitterverse: Tweet For Your Life

Twitter has evangelists, but few are more prominent than Tony Hsieh, the Tweet slinging CEO of Las Vegas-based Internet shoe purveyor, Zappos.
photo courtesy of Laughing Squid
After kicking it with Ev, last week in DC, Hsieh looked inward and was delighted by what he saw.

At Zappos, we have 10 core values that act as a formalized definition of our company culture. Our core values weren’t formed by a few people from senior management that sat around in a room at a company offsite. Instead, we invited every employee at Zappos to participate in the process, and here’s the final list we collectively came up with:
1) Deliver WOW Through Service
2) Embrace and Drive Change
3) Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
4) Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5) Pursue Growth and Learning
6) Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
7) Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8) Do More With Less
9) Be Passionate and Determined
10) Be Humble
The cool thing about the Zappos core values is that I’ve used them as my own personal values as well. So it makes tweeting really easy for me… Whether I tweet about something personal or something related to Zappos, if I’m living my life through these 10 core values, it all goes towards building the Zappos brand while shaping me personally as well.

Man, I hope George Parker reads this. He’s gonna shit. But seriously, I like much of what Hsieh is saying and doing with his company. I like how sees the bigger picture–Zappos is about customer service, not selling shoes, for instance. But sadly, there’s a fervor in his voice that takes Twitter into the revival tent. I generally don’t visit such places.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Blecch. New age business babble. Does anyone believe for a minute that this guy can “be humble.”

  2. I think your instincts are right, David.
    Even with the timely Twitter references, his quote reads like every other business guy preaching his own business gospel in a weird, “born again” way. Hey, if it works for ya, great. But it sure can sound creepy. The vast sum of cash that often results notwithstanding, of course.:-) But still, creepy.

  3. thebassplayerswife says:

    ‘Does anyone believe for a minute that this guy can “be humble.”‘
    Actually, Tony is one of the most humble people I have met in a long time. He is the real deal, bob.

  4. I’ve met Tony in person as well and as thebassplayerswife notes, he is actually quite humble. No mean feat for a guy who’s onto his second multimillion dollar business and is not yet 30.
    What he’s trying to do with Zappos is work from the inside out- to create a corporate culture that instinctively fosters the type of customer-centric reactions that set Zappos apart.
    Those 10 Core Values were in place from the earliest days of the company. So the corporate culture has grown up around them.
    That’s a marked contrast to companies who try and retrofit a mission statement to an already existing entity, an enterprise that more or less defines “fitting a square peg into a round hole” – and the correct response to that is, as Bob Hoffman notes “blechhhh.”
    But Zappos is the real deal. I’ve spent some time at Zappos’ office (full disclosure: I’ve done some work for them via The Ad Store) and all of their processes and procedures really do try and adhere to those values. It’s a markedly different culture than any company I’ve ever dealt with in my career and the people who work there really do seem enthusiastic about it in a way that seems thought out and genuine rather than forced and Soviet.
    (NB: This is coming from a guy who used to have to flee the room, lest he burst out laughing, when a former client’s employees had to start every meeting by reciting some sort of corporate anagram: “A, we’re all in this together! G, we’re inspiring greatness..” For real.)

  5. I think humility is something you earn from those who know you.
    You can’t “earn” humility.
    You can’t “learn” it either.