Zappos Creates a Culture of Fun

Zappos creates a culture of fun

In the near future, intentional fun and games will be an important element to every part of modern business. Some businesses will be completely transformed. Others will refuse to change, and ultimately will be left behind. Those that succeed will make business more fun and more engaging. Doing business with those companies who openly embrace fun are, more frankly, more fun to do business with. There’s a reason Zappos is so successful! It’s a fun company to work for because it has created a culture of fun and intentionally bred it into its culture.

The foreword written by Zappos CEO, Tony Hsiech, in the 2011 edition of the Zappos Family Culture book says it best:

For us, our #1 priority is company culture. Our belief is that if we get the culture right, most of the other stuff – like delivering great customer service, or building a long-term enduring brand and business –will happen naturally on its own. 

A company’s culture and a company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin. The brand is simply a lagging indicator of the culture. It’s about looking for new ways to WOW everyone we come in contact with. It’s about building relationships where we treat each other like family. It’s about teamwork and having fun and not taking ourselves too seriously. It’s about growth, personal and professional. It’s about achieving the impossible with fewer people. It’s about openness, taking risks and not being afraid to make mistakes. But most of all, it’s about having faith that if we do the right thing, then in the long run we will succeed and build something great. 

Zappos culture is based on 10 core values:

  1. Deliver WOW through service
  2. Embrace and drive change
  3. Create fun and a little weirdness
  4. Be adventurous, creative and open-minded
  5. Pursue growth and learning
  6. Build open and honest relationships with communication
  7. Build a positive team and family spirit
  8. Do more with less
  9. Be passionate and determined
  10. Be humble

Unlike most companies, where core values are just a plaque on the wall, our core values play a big part in how we hire, train and develop our employees.

In addition to trying to WOW our customers, we also try to WOW our employees and the vendors and business partners we work with. We believe that it creates a virtuous cycle, and in our own way, we’re making the world a better place and improving people’s lives. It’s all part of our long term vision to deliver happiness to the world.

Creating a genuine culture of fun into the core values creates an attitude of empowerment, a sense of belonging and tremendous profits. With 1,441 employees, and always ranking among the top 20 places to work in the country, they have created an environment, enabling employees to self-direct their work instead of waiting for a manager to tell them what to do. (If you haven’t visited the Zappos corporate office like we have, it’s well worth the visit next time you are in Las Vegas!) Zappos is a fantastic example of what infusing fun into the workplace creates as the ingredient to their ongoing success. They even do an annual culture yearbook that is simply incredible! They get it!

So, let’s work together to…

Motivate and empower your people.

Make a statement or tell your story.

Educate and entertain.

Activate your brand.

Build your TEAM!


Submitted by:

Matt Martindale – CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer)

Fun For Business, Inc.