Peter Abilla over at shmula as been running a Q&A series with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. I've been a fan of Zappos for several years as I try to avoid wasting time in stores. I also like that prices are low, and even lower when you consider that shipping is free, and return shipping for no-questions-asked returns is also free.
The entire Q&A is interesting and I encourage you to read it, but one section stuck out:
Also, what mistakes have you made and how did those mistakes change you
and change the company?
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there is
a lot more hidden talent and potential in your employees than you
think. It’s just about building the right culture and figuring out how
to unlock all of that talent, which isn’t always an easy thing to
We’ve made a lot of mistakes at Zappos, but in general I think we do
a pretty good job of learning from those mistakes. If we weren’t making
mistakes, then I would say we weren’t taking enough risks.
Our biggest mistakes in the past have probably been related to
hiring the wrong people, especially those that were bad for the company
culture. It’s actually made our culture stronger today because we want
to try to avoid making the same mistakes.
There we have it again: the value, not cost, of people.