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The Engagement of Zappos and Amazon

Posted on : 22-07-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Brands, Business, In the News

Tags: ,


In the past year I have built many friendships at Zappos, and I am proud to have learned from them.  One of the greatest experiences from a business perspective was the opportunity to tour Zappos in Las Vegas.  It was the most Customer centered place I have ever been.  During the visit I received their famous culture book and a bag.  I keep both on the top shelf in my office to remind me that it is all powered by service.  So when I heard the news that Amazon was purchasing Zappos and making it a subsidiary of Amazon, I will admit that initially I was concerned.  It is not that I have had a bad experience with Amazon, because the exact opposite is true.  Every interaction I have had there was very good.  One minor service concern was rectified really fast.  I knew the purchase was the best thing for the Zappos shareholders, but what about the culture that I have grown to love?

Tony addressed this in his letter to employees:

“Q: Will the Zappos culture change?

Our culture at Zappos is unique and always evolving and changing, because one of our core values is to Embrace and Drive Change. What happens to our culture is up to us, which has always been true. Just like before, we are in control of our destiny and how our culture evolves.

A big part of the reason why Amazon is interested in us is because they recognize the value of our culture, our people, and our brand. Their desire is for us to continue to grow and develop our culture (and perhaps even a little bit of our culture may rub off on them).

They are not looking to have their folks come in and run Zappos unless we ask them to. That being said, they have a lot of experience and expertise in a lot of areas, so we’re very excited about the opportunities to tap into their knowledge, expertise, and resources, especially on the technology side. This is about making the Zappos brand, culture, and business even stronger than it is today.”

I was still not convinced, but again not due to experience with Amazon, but rather seeing acquisitions in the past with other companies.  As I went down the letter, there was a video with Jeff Bezzos, CEO of Amazon.  I have heard good things about Jeff, but mainly due to investment performance and driving the results of the company.  The video shows a much different side, and one that I felt the need to share:

Maybe this will be a marriage made in heaven.  I wish all involved great success.

I Really Do Not Like Doctors, But This One Needs to Go!

Posted on : 08-01-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : In the News, Personal





We have had our share of issues with doctors, but we never wanted their license to practice to be removed.  For those that do not know the story of our Angel Gia, she passed away during a liver transplant surgery 2 months before her 4th birthday.  Even though she passed away during a transplant surgery, I remain an advocate for organ donation.  Today on my ride into work I heard a reference to Richard Batista wanting his ex-wife to return his kidney or pay him $1.5 million.  The brief aspect of the story is Mr. Batista (a surgeon but I refuse to put Dr. before his name because he does not deserve it) donated his kidney to his wife in 2001.  According to his statements, shortly after the transplant she started to have an affair.  Mr. Batista filed for divorce in 2005, which is still ongoing.


Now we are in 2009 and Mr. Batista has decided that he would like to have his organ back or $1.5 million dollars.  Doctors are supposed to abide by ethics.  One I am sure you all have heard is that organs are not for sale.  Doctors are supposed to be above board on all of this.  Mr. Baptista, who I am sure is hurt by his wife’s actions, is being completely off base and is hurting his own profession.  He should understand this well, but obviously missed that class.  I believe he should have his license taken away for this ethical violations, and, truthfully, his poor judgement that will inevitably hurt organ donations for others that are in need.


Am I being oversensitive in this view? 


Please sign up to be an organ donor.