What Do Apple And Zappos Shoes Have In Common? It Isn't Leadership Personalities, That's For Sure
We are doing a lot of commuting these days, so we're listening to business books downloaded on Amazon. We heard Steve Job's biography. Next, we heard Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos Shoes. What they have in common may surprise you, and it may add some Zap-Core to your business.
Impression # 1: How Steve and Tony were not alike.
Geez, Steve Jobs was a bit of a nut job. Was he brilliant? Yes obviously, yes. Is Tony brilliant? Yes, pretty darn brilliant. What they didn't share was how they viewed their respective companies. Steve could be, and often was ruthless with personnel. Tony is all about being concerned about the culture and being a happy family. With that out of the way, what do they have in common?
Impression # 2: Simplify.
Steve Jobs had a thread running through his life, through Pixar, and through Apple which was his mantra: Make it more simple. Don't confuse this with the popular sales and business saying, KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Steve's mantra was constantly and most noticeably applied to the design of Apple devices. He would always challenge his designers to do the same thing with requiring less clicks from the user.
Probably the ultimate expression of Steve's mantra is the Apple Operating System. It is intuitive, and allows a new user to feel at home in minutes. It is a beautiful, simple thing, but very, very powerful.
Impression # 3: Tony's bottom line is customer service grows companies.
Tony had very early success with Link Exchange, selling it to Microsoft for about $250 million, just four years from conception. He was a kid and just out of college when he started Link Exchange.
Zappos Shoes was different. It was a struggle that almost wiped out his fortune and almost took him down. His bottom line reason that they were able to make it by ultimately taking a big bite of the online shoe business was customer service. He isn't talking about lip service to customer service – he means customer service like so few companies on the planet deliver.
OK, what then, do the two have in common?
Not much In our opinion, Steve's customer friendly devices and operating system equal the ultimate customer experience. If that's not serving the customer, what is? In the end, they both did the same thing for crazy, wild business success. Obviously, there is more than one way to give amazing, earth-shaking customer service. What is your way?
Don't think this little article is enough. If you're serious about your business, we seriously recommend that you go to amazon and download both books – you will reap rewards.
What should you do next?