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Zappos 100 best companies to work for 2010

Just announced yesterday, Zappos.com was ranked #15 on the 2010 Fortune Magazine "100 Best Companies To Work For" list!(We ranked #23 last year.) Thank you to all of our loyal customers, awesome vendors and extremely dedicated team members for helping to kick off another great year. We could not have done it without you!

Click here to see the article !

Click here to see the video featuring Zappos in last year's best companies to work for list!

 

CEO Letter

You can read and post comments here! (Read the email I sent to employees first.)

Celebrity Apprentice Season Finale

Recently Tony, Alfred and Aaron were invited to attend the season finale Filming of Celebrity Apprentice . They were milling around the auditorium when our very own Linda L. motioned for the three to come up on stage because she wanted to take a picture of them “Behind Donald Trump’s chair and the Boardroom table”.They didn’t want to come up on stage…thinking they weren’t allowed and the producer said “of course your allowed up here with Linda…” Still hesitant, Linda demanded “Get up there”! Thanks to Linda’s determination and not to mention impeccable photography skills, we get to see the remnants of this fun photo op!

P.S. After our Bald and Blue event last wednesday, some of you may have forgetten what 2 of these guys look like with hair !!!!!!

The Power of 1%

The following was sent to all Zappos employees this past Monday:

——-
Team,

Happy New Year! To kick off the year, I sent this on Jan. 2nd to a smaller group, but a few folks suggested that it should be sent to all Zappos employees. Here is a slightly cleaned up and better version of what was sent.

“It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.” – A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

On CNBC Reports 2008, Maria Bartiromo quoted Charles Dickens, noting that, while Dickens was referring to the French Revolution, he could have easily been talking about 2008.

No doubt, 2008 was a very challenging year, starting out with a weak economic and retail environment that degraded slowly in the first half of the year and then fell off a cliff in the second half of the year. Depending on what reports you read, online ecommerce was down 3-5% this holiday season, marking the first time ecommerce didn’t grow. Reading about these not-so-positive reports just goes to show how very lucky we are at Zappos, because we were able to ride through these rocky times and produce pretty incredible results. No, things weren’t perfect, but 2008 was still a great year for us! Official results have to wait until our finance team closes the books and releases the audited financials in early March, but we managed to grow our business over last year and during the holiday season (when ecommerce was down), exceeded $1B in gross merchandise sales, and by Doing More with Less, kept ourselves profitable and cash positive – all the while having a lot of fun serving our customers!

We can reminisce about 2008, but now that 2009 is here and we are back from some much needed downtime, it’s time to get our A-game back on. We’ll be going over our goals and our “official” plans as soon as our board approves them, but even before that “officially” happens, we already know what we need to do.

One thing I encourage you to do is to refer back to our Core Values document and specifically the challenge in there: make at least one improvement every week that makes Zappos better. Ideally, we would do this every single day. It sounds daunting, but remember improvements don’t have to be dramatic. Think about what it means to improve just 1% per day and build upon that every single day. Doing so has a dramatic effect and will make us 37x better, not 365% (3.65x) better at the end of the year. Wake up every day and ask yourself not only what is the 1% improvement I can change to make Zappos better, but also what is the 1% improvement I can change to make myself better personally and professionally – because we, Zappos, can’t grow unless we as individual people grow too.

Imagine yourself making 1% changes every day that compounds and will make you and Zappos 37x better by the end of the year. Imagine if every employee at Zappos was doing the same. Imagine how much better you, Zappos and the
world will be next year.

It won’t be easy and 2009 will no doubt present its own set of challenges, but we positively will get through it. Have a great and happy 2009!

——-
P.S. Also check out Tony’s blog entry, p-4231 .

P.P.S. This is for the math geeks. If you start out with $100 at the beginning of the year and you were able to increase what you have by 1% every single day, at the end of the year, you would have $3,778.34 = $100 * (1 + 1%) ^ 365. That is 37.78x what you had at the beginning of the year. Get that 1% every single day!

——-
Do you have a story about how small changes every single day made a huge difference in the long-run? If so, leave us a comment below or email me: alfred (at) zappos.com.

Follow me on Twitter: @zappos_alfred

Alfred and his Day at UPS

Our CFO/COO, Alfred L., was asked by UPS to spend a day doing the job of a UPS Delivery Worker, and he gladly obliged!

On the last Friday before Christmas, if you live in the Southern Highlands part of Las Vegas, and you had a package delivered by UPS, there is a good chance that Alfred was the one that dropped off your package.

And, since this was a long, hard day of work, Alfred decided to take a dip in a customer’s pool at the end of the day to relax. But relaxing is hard when it’s 40 degrees outside….don’t try this at home, kids.

We captured it all on video…enjoy! Alfred, take it away….......

What Happens at Zappos when the Internet is Down?

By Alfred L. (COO/CFO), reporting live from ground zero of no-internet anarchy at Zappos.com Headquarters.

We had a little Internet outage today at the Zappos offices for a couple of hours. I was told that some router’s firmware puked, whatever that means. There was a time when we were able to put in a full day’s work just fine without this thing called the Internet. Those days are officially over — at least at Zappos. Since we couldn’t access our news feeds, personal emails, and internet radio stations…I mean, our corporate emails, servers, and systems, we thought we would have a little fun in the process.

Our Finance team had been planning for a while to have a 10-key Olympics. For those who don’t know, we wanted to know who is most proficient at using only their right hand to enter data with the numerical keypad. Pretty geeky stuff, but they had a blast because they are geeks. Given this world of edi, xml, and all sorts of electronic data transfer formats, we seem to still manually enter a ton of data. i guess every now and then smart technology just isn’t so smart?

Speaking of smart technology, our development team had been slowly amassing an arsenal of low-tech Nerf weapons of mass destruction over the last few months. it began with small revolver guns with 6 Nerf pellets, but it had escalated to motorized guns with modified banks of Nerf pellets and rubber bands to make the pellets fly further. Since the Development team couldn’t connect to their precious code and whatever backdoor games they’d put on our servers, they entertained themselves by shooting anyone who walked by their desks.

As with the rise of any oppressive power, a revolution began, and developed (no pun intended)into a full scare Nerf war. Our finance team invaded their area and just started shooting. I held the door open to the development lair and have scars on my back from all the pellets fired upon me.

Our developers retaliated in full force, pushed the finance team back, disrupted a peaceful gathering of 10-key olympians, and kidnapped a few hostages. An armistice was called when the war started to intrude upon conference rooms where real meetings were being had — must be those low-tech merchants who don’t need the Internet to have a productive meeting.

Others took a more solitary approach to Internet withdrawal.
Keith C. decided to use the time trying to beat his own top score on Bulls-Eye ball 2.
Johnny p. decided to catch up on some much needed shuteye. How does he sleep with the noise of Bulls-Eye Ball 2 in the background and the cries and carnage of his team members in the development lair?

oh, Internet is back up…back to work…got to make up for 2 hours of downtime!

P.S. If you like to work hard and play hard, send us a note and your resume to jobs@zappos.com.

P.P.S. To our investors, your blood might be boiling about the thought of our internet being down, but i assure you that our website was up and running during this outage and still taking orders from customers. ;-)

Shoes, shoes, and more shoes!

Nevada Zappos.com employees got together to collect new kids shoes for the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation . We collected 400 pairs of new shoes with the help of Nike , Zappos Outlets , and of course our amazing Zapponians . Below is a picture of the shoes with Jeff and Stephanie from the NCCF and Tony and Alfred . In addition to picking up the shoes the NCCF presented Zappos with a plaque thanking us for the donation. You can read more about Zappos’ community involvement here .

Alfred the Easter Bunny

I’m at the Zappos outlet store in Las Vegas right now (Dean Martin location) and Alfred (COO/CFO of Zappos) is dressed up as an Easter bunny, handing out candy to the kids!