November 06, 2008

Zappos: End Of The Innocence

When you finally become profitable (profit built on the backs of people) and can choose between money and people, choose people.

Zappos to reduce workforce by 8%.

In my last post, about Nordstrom, I asked how online marketers would respond to the first downturn they've experienced. Do you innovate, or do you listen to VCs or Wall St., folks who want to protect money more than the people who create money for them?

Maybe folks won't have access to credit, and have no choice but to dump employees to maintain positive cash flow. Regardless, the way businesses (brands) treat human beings is gross.


  1. Kevin --

    I agree entirely.

    If 8% cuts are needed to keep them afloat, that I understand.

    If 8% cuts came down from their VCs and aren't required to move the needle from red to black, then that I don't understand.

    Zappos prides themselves on culture.

    Unless survival mandates these cuts, the impact on corp culture is immense and negative.


  2. I've read the Sequoia Capital presentation. It is well thought out.

    But it is not written from the perspective of the individual who makes $26 an hour doing a task that generates wealth for the VC.

    I was once asked to let an individual in my department go --- and then was paid a "retention bonus". From that point forward, I didn't trust layoffs.


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