Skip to main content

Whimsy and fun as you go about your work...

Amazon bought Zappos...

Apparently this is a good move. Zappos' interesting hiring practices were pretty interesting for me to read about.
There's a Bezos video that I liked, and a letter from the Zappos CEO to his team that I liked even more.

However, it was a great section at the end of the letter (pasted below), that sparked off a thought in my head. It surprising because its naturally funny, and consistent with the writer's style.

I'd heard a remark at work a little earlier in the week about having a sense of "whimsy" as you designed products and you go about your work. I think its done well really rarely, and as companies become larger, humor and whimsy (in communication and in product design) becomes either discouraged or something attempted to be done my committee (and hence not that funny.)

-----------------------------

Q: I'm a business/financial reporter. Can you talk like a banker and use fancy-sounding language that we can print in a business publication?

Zappos is an online footwear category leader and Amazon believes Zappos is the right team with a unique culture, proven track record, and the experience to become a leading soft goods company; Zappos' customer service obsession reinforces Amazon’s mission to be the earth's most customer-centric company; Great brand, strong vendor relationships, broad selection, large active and repeat customer base; Amazon believes Zappos is a great business -- growing, profitable and positive cash flow; Accelerate combined companies' scale and growth trajectory in the shoe, apparel and accessories space; Significant synergy opportunities, including technology, marketing, and possible international expansion.

Q: What is the purchase price?

This is not a cash transaction. This is a stock exchange. Our shareholders and option holders will be issued approximately 10 million Amazon shares on a fully converted basis. The details of the deal terms and how the shares will be distributed will be filed with the SEC on Form S-4 and will be publicly available when it is filed.

Q: Can you talk like a lawyer now?

This email was sent on July 22, 2009. In connection with the proposed merger, Amazon.com will file a registration statement on Form S-4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission that will contain a consent solicitation/prospectus. Zappos' shareholders and investors are urged to carefully read the consent solicitation/prospectus when it becomes available and other relevant documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the proposed merger because they contain important information about Amazon.com, Zappos and the proposed merger. Shareholders and investors will be able to obtain the consent solicitation/prospectus when it becomes available at www.sec.gov or www.amazon.com/ir.

Certain statements contained in this email are not statements of historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect current expectations, are inherently uncertain and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Factors that could cause future results to differ materially from expected results include those set forth in Amazon.com's Current Report on Form 8-K, dated July 22, 2009.

Q: Can you please stop?

okthxbye

--------------------

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.



Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)



It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Measure f-ing everything, and assume f-ing nothing!! - Or how mentoring ruined lives :-(

I've been really enjoying the Freakonomics podcast of late. This episode and the lesson we should take a away from it, was a stark reminder of one of the most important things we should be doing - but often don't - in building products or making any decisions: measuring the impact of absolutely everything we do, including the things that seem obviously good.

I recommend listening to the podcast if you have the time, but here's the summary. Stephen Dubner describes the Cambridge Sommerville Youth Study. The impact of social intervention programs in general is hard to measure and so they seldom are. This was the first attempt at measuring the impact over a long period of time.

It's a great story and there are a few good take-aways, but here's the main one: troubled or at-risk youth that received mentoring (good mentoring!) had worse life outcomes across every dimension than the kids that were left alone. Despite the recipients saying that the mentoring was incredibl…