SXSW 2008 Presentation - Top 10 Lessons Learned in E-Commerce

I gave a presentation at SXSW earlier today titled “Top 10 Lessons Learned in E-Commerce.” The powerpoint of the presentation is here:

I had set up an account on Twitter (username: zappos), and I had used the track feature (“track zappos”). It was interesting seeing the comments about the presentation afterwards for people that were twittering and using the word “zappos”. Most of the comments were positive (people seemed to enjoy hearing about the Zappos philosophy on company culture), but there were also a couple of negative comments, including one twitterer that said he left the room early.

Speaking of which, someone just sent me this link from Valleywag that said Jeff Bezos (CEO and founder of was in the room.

Seeing all the Twitter comments about Zappos during the presentation, I thought for future presentations, it might be interesting to display all the Twitter comments in real-time, even asking audience members to vote on which topics to talk more about… It would be a way to make future presentations relevant to what each audience actually wants to hear.


44291919's picture
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm Pawel S. said:

Great idea about the live-twittered presentation. That's something I'd like to see. Also, didn't notice it during the actual presentation, but I love the last slide with all the legalese!

466441932's picture
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm ZC922 said:

Hi,Tony. I am interested in your business model, and what will happen in China if there are a you know, there are more and more internet user in China, and most of them will buy something at internet shop. i am stay at beijing, Look forward to see zappos china soon.

45401556's picture
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm William B. said:

I love the comments on the Valleywag page regarding Jeff Bezos and his apparent lack of interest in the presentation. What I find particularly amusing is the fact that he was staring down at his BB the whole time. Or, as one commentator put it, was he staring at his shoes?

While I doubt he was looking at his BB for the entire presentation, I guess he really took "Don't worry about your competition" to heart!

On another note, do we often present at events or conferences like this? I.E. music festivals, film festivals, etc.

466459426's picture
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm ZC1051 said:

Hey Tony,

I truly enjoyed your presentation at SxSW! I picked up a copy of the culture book and left it friend who was unable to return it. Any chance that I could get another?

Also, I am unable to get the presentation to load on this page. Do I need special software installed?

38293618's picture
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm Tony H. CEO said:

I usually speak at business conferences... so far I have about 10 conferences lined up for 2008. The SXSW was for the SXSW interactive conference, which is held before the SXSW music conference.

Re: the presentation - I think Slideshare was having issues with their hosting provider yesterday, but you should be able to view the presentation now.

466525149's picture
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm ZC1599 said:

Great stuff. I just nominated you for "CEO of the Year" on my blog this morning. ;)

That Ad Age panel last week must have had you grinding your teeth!

466724043's picture
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm Stephan said:

Hi Tony!

Your idea of displaying a live Twitter stream while presenting is a good one, and it's something that Ignite does, but they use Mozes instead of Twitter. At the Web 2.0 Expo last year there were Ignite sessions (5-minute lightning rounds) with Mozes being used for commenting and voting on the speakers. The top 4 speakers were "promoted" to speaking slots at the keynote later in the week. The attendees used Mozes for heckling too, to great effect. One snide remark in particular really stands out in my mind... One of the speakers was a guy in a bad suit that looked like he just walked out of a Miami Vice episode. When the message "don johnson called. he needs his suit back" appeared on the screen, the audience started cracking up. The poor guy didn't have a clue he was being mocked, he just kept on presenting!

Stephan Spencer Netconcepts

44518702's picture
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm ZC3869 said:

That's hilarious

admin's picture
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm admin said:

I was at a presentation a few months back for new students at a college my wife will be attending, and a faculty member asked who was currently on Twitter. Someone updated on Twitter that they were sitting in that presentation.

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