RIP Tony Hsieh From Zappos And More On CHOM 97.7 FM

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Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am on air at CHOM 97.7 FM radio out of Montreal (home base). It’s not a long segment – about 10 minutes every week – to decode the future. We discuss everything that is happening in the world of technology, digital media and culture. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly on i Heart Radio, if you’re interested in hearing more about what’s happening in the transformation of our digital world. I’m really excited about these weekly hits, because this is the radio station that I grew up listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry DiMonte morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed:

  • I met Tony Hsieh (the co-founder and CEO of Zappos) well over a decade ago. His book, Delivering Happiness, is a customer service and corporate culture book that was a big success when it came out in 2010, and continues to be to this day. People still talk about the “Zappos Way” of dealing with customers as humans. Tony was a true visionary. His first company, LinkExchange, was sold to Microsoft in 1998 for close to $270 million. He then invested in Zappos in 1999, and became its CEO for 21 years (he retired from the company in August of this year). In 2009, Amazon acquired Zappos for about $1.2 billion. Hsieh was an active investor and spent a lot of his efforts rejuvenating downtown Las Vegas. His book was published by the same publisher as mine. We were introduced, and Tony was kind enough to blurb CTRL ALT Delete. I would see him every year at the TED conference, and a few more times on the speaking circuit. A good soul… a quiet soul. He passed tragically at the age of 46 after succumbing to injuries he sustained in a house fire. There are no words… such a loss.
  • Do you know how many employees Amazon company has? While many businesses struggle through this pandemic, Amazon has thrived. Their work force has increased by more than 50% from a year ago. They have added a staggering 427,300 employees between January and October. That’s more than 1.2 million employee. Wow.
  • Last week we had Black Friday. Today is known as Cyber Monday. So, did the pandemic get people buying more than ever, or has the economy shrunk (as people lose their jobs and are saving “just in case”)? Shopify announced that global Black Friday sales on their sites alone rocked close to $2.5 billion in sales. That’s a 75% growth from last year. Most interesting (to me, at least) is that mobile sales were 67% compared to 33% of sales made on desktops/laptops. The average sale was a little over $90. People are spending. 
  • App of the Week: BookBub – unbeatable ebook deals.
  • What are you reading? I’m currently devouring, The Best of Me by David Sedaris

You can also listen in via I Heart Radio.

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