I will be speaking at the B.I.G. (Business Innovation & Growth) Summit on Thursday, November 19th at the Hilton Orlando. The summit is a big departure for the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce and I am happy to see some spunk coming out of our local business community. Instead of suits and ties thing jeans, t-shirts and flip flops. This is a business conference designed for today’s creative workforce.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh will be keynoting the event. His session is titled “Building a $1 Billion Business”… hells yeah! Sign me up! I will lead a workshop on building better relationships using digital media. If you are an entrepreneur living in Central Florida you would be a donkey to miss this event. Sign up now!


Ted Murphy

Ted Murphy

Ted Murphy is an American entrepreneur. He is currently the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of IZEA, a technology company that provides software for influencer marketing.

One Comment

  • Evangeline Shaw says:

    I certainly hope Tony Hsieh has crafted a new speech for your paying seminar participants. Tony Hsieh’s “culture of workplace happiness” and “Zappos Core Values” are attention-getting marketing hype, nothing more. If he tells your paying customers he created a billion dollar company by following them, he is not telling the truth.

    In reality, Tony is a hypocrite, who as Chief Exeuctive Officer of Zappos fails to supervise Zappos’ management employees, to insure they are following those Core Values in their relationships with employees.

    Zappos “team leaders” and mid-level managers create little fiefdoms, and completely ignore the Core Values. Tony is oblivious to that fact, despite traveling the countryside promoting the Core Values and the corporate culture which he thinks he created. The reality in Nevada is that corporate culture exists only in Tony’s mind.

    Tony’s much publicized “Core Values” for Zappos employees and management are chimera, nothing more. Employees rely on them, and then are terminated for the very conduct which the Core Values encourage, such as being candid in critiquing or making suggestions about how Zappos is operated.

    In the Fall of 2008, Zappos had a large, well publicized lay-off which was expensive for the company. Throughout the beginning of 2009, Zappos slowly eliminated management employees, which Zappos hid from the financial press, because it would hurt both Tony’s image and the value of Amazon stock.

    Amazon.com’s purchase of Zappos.com actually closed on November 2, 2009. Leading up to that closing, fearing that Amazon will ultimately scale back employee headcount, dumber, less articulate Zappos supervisors began a feeding frezy of terminating intelligent employees, who could be a threat in competition to keep jobs.

    Despite the alleged existence of Core Values centered on the concept of honor and honesty, in an effort to minimize staffing costs, after Zappos huge Fall 2008 layoff, Zappos personnel department, with Tony’s assent, instituted a common personnel management practice where despite the content of the “Core Values”, Zappos employees (including employees with children) who insist they are following the Core Values are set up to be later terminated “for cause”, thereby denying the terminated employees unemployment compensation and saving Zappos on state unemployment insurance premiums.

    Despite Zappos’ self-proclaimed excellent customer service, jobs communicating with customers by email were outsourced to China. Amazon’s management has influenced policy setting for customer service operations, creating tremendous pressure on call center employees to increase their work product, creating a work environment approaching that of sweat-shop Nevada call centers.

    While Zappos’ employees are fraudulently induced into believing and relying on the “Core Values”, in the “definitive merger agreement” signed by Zappos and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the Amazon purchase, Zappos management denied that the Core Values have any force or effect as binding employment contracts, and instead affirmatively represented that all Zappos employees are at-will employees, i.e. dischargeable at the whim of each employee’s supervisor.

    Zappos’ Core Values and its “concern” for its “employees as family” are a marketing gimic, nothing more. Tony Hsieh is a charlatan, selling a corporate culture which does not really exist at Zappos.

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