Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The New Las Vegas, an Inspirational Story

Usually, re-branding cities is an initiative of the city council, or maybe the chamber of commerce, but finding this coming from just an entrepreneur that the only link that have with the city is that it's his hometown is quite inspirational and deserves a few posst about it.
Las Vegas at Night

The city: Las Vegas

Also known as The Entertainment of the World, Las Vegas doesn't need any presentation. Different from the rest of the cities around this Blog, Las Vegas have a well-known Brand and is a massive touristic destination thanks to their casino-hotels, conferences and all the cultural life that is surrounding this, but how does that influence to the citizens of Sin City?

The inspiration of the change: Tony Hsieh

Born in 1973 in Illinois, Hsieh grow up in San Francisco and graduated in computer science from Harvard University.

His history as entrepreneur begins selling fast food to his colleagues at uni. A bit later , just one year after finishing university, he started his first internet businesses, Link-Exchange, that was sold to Microsoft two years later. It was not his last project, indeed he had a few successful business experiences but he didn't kept in any of them. The main reason? He didn't like the environment in this companies. He wanted to make people happy!

Finally, he decided to invest in Zappos (everyone get happy with new shoes!), making them grow sales from $1.6M in 2000 to over $1 billion in 2008 by focusing on “the customer experience”, built it through the customers interactions with focus employees thanks to his Company Culture.

In other words, for growing up his business, he focus in make happy their employees, in creating a community that could take care of his business cause it wasn't just his business, he become it to the project of a whole integrated team work. It's really interesting to check many of the ideas he take in place inside his company and I totally encourage you to watch this talk about his life, but this is an urbanism blog, so lets go to the point.

How may Tony make their community more integrated and happier outside the work place? Integration an community living in a city with an urbanism like Las Vegas is not easy, so he decided to change the city, to  create a place where his workers could walk and share in the streets.

A Presentation of Las Vegas Downtown Project

More about this project in the next post

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