[iDC] psychic income @ Zappos--so much better than a 401k

Frank Pasquale frank.pasquale at gmail.com
Tue Jan 5 19:55:30 UTC 2010

Here's an interesting article on online shoe empire Zappo's, which was just
bought by Amazon:


"There's certainly much for students of management theory to try on at
Zappos. For example, pay for call-center operators starts at a modest $11 an
hour, and there are no bonuses or 401(k) matching contributions because
[company founder Tony] Hsieh believes the most productive employees work for
the psychic gratification in helping others. Customer service reps are given
plenty of freedom. They may chat for hours with customers, write thank-you
notes, send flowers, and even direct shoppers to rival Web sites if an item
is out of stock. In a tough year for retail, sales are up by double digits."

Here's more from Hsieh in an interview posted on the site "Retire at 21":


"It's important to me to build a business where money isn't the primary
motivator because in tough times, I've found that it isn't enough to see it
all the way through. I believe success is created by following your passion
and going through the journey of redefining what success means."

I look forward to seeing how soon Hsieh takes his own advice and donates the
bulk of his money for charitable purposes.  Can't CEOs be motivated by
psychic income?

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