tony hsieh – city experiment

tony b wdelivering happy

via zappos et al..

three lines below from video i can’t find anymore:

Combining three c’s at the city level: accelerating collisions, community, co-learning.

ROC = return on community. A mini-bif every week – random collisions.

Four minute mile – people just need to believe it’s possible.


delivering happiness site


Not only does Tony have an incredible drive toward delivering happiness, he dreams of fixing the world by fixing cities.

Hsieh’s working through Downtown Project, a company he created with $350 million to spend, to seed technology startups, invest in education and attempt to build a walkable, vibrant downtown.

“You can’t dictate what the neighborhood is going to look like. But you can definitely help support and accelerate people’s dreams and visions,” Hsieh says. “That is really our belief as to what drives our culture. It needs to be organic.”

A big experiment..  tony-hsieh-downtown-project-2012-12

He can see the world through a completely different set of eyeballs than most people in the world. 

“Money is just a way for Tony to get to his endgame,” says Moore. “Money just doesn’t matter to him. If he only had a million dollars left, he’d spend $999,999 to make Vegas work. He would be just as happy with a dollar in the bank and being around people he cares about and care about him.”

More about Tony via bif site.

or find/follow him on wikipedia..

or here:

downtown project


Perhaps.. we add to Tony’s incredible experiment, by not just making it city wide, but also as the day.

ie: cure ios city as a means to undo our hierarchical listening


delivering happiness

book links to amazon


my notes on bif 6:

tony at bif 6


random – earlier posts on Tony:

saturday, july 16, 2011

tony hsieh

about the book 

tuesday, june 28, 2011

seth godin

are you wow blind?
Tony Hsieh’s #1 of their 10 core values at Zappos:
deliver wow through service – random acts of wow

on creating a culture that can deliver happiness


friday, january 27, 2012

tony hsieh (@WorldBlu)
Tony Hsieh of @WorldBlu certified @Zappos is definitely walking the talk with his latest startup plans…

wednesday, march 7, 2012

tony hsieh


thursday, august 2, 2012

tony hsieh

bif 8 storytellerstony

So many people when they go to the office, they leave a little bit of themselves at home, or a lot of themselves at home,” he says. “And while there’s been a lot of talk over the years about work life separation or work life balance, our whole thing is about work life integration. Because it’s just life – and the ideal would be if you can be the same person at home as you are in the office and vice versa.


thursday, september 20, 2012

bif 8

oh my. trip in.. lovely traveling with my dear mentor Amy. bus to biltmore.. not next to tony.. my agenda… but rather next to jeff.. random and unlikely connection… a bif-like agenda… no doubt. [mtg with act innovator team.. they may help with app. self assess vs standardized assess. how ironically cool would that be?] meet up with idea rock stars.. Adam, Scott (who is speaking in two days at tedxyouth with Seth and sam), and Dana, at coolest vegan eatery. innobeer.. finally mtg local boulderite Andrea. lovely. hugging deb…et al.. day 1 loving Saul on video. go bif team.. great idea. opening words.. bif isn’t an event.. it’s a community. killer trend.. organizing networks. going big and small co-created by us. less event … more community. why do you do what you do..? (pic of his grand twins) the power of stewardship.. leaving things better and we have a sense of urgency… a decade is a Terri le thing to waste. like any good catalyst… get the reaction started and get out of the way. Carne Ross – a very gentle anarchism Robin Chase – peers Inc.. doing all the stuff that a company finds expensive to do.if you get the platform right … people can exponentiate. Andrew Hessel – kept hearing rhizomes… ie: every time cells divide.. have to rewrite a new geno.. the rewriting.. perpetual beta… makes it a living cell Darell Hammond – on his experience growing up:it struck my justice nerve. huge on Colin ward ..child in the city.. (hearing @rogre ‘s book as well) David Stull – thru music.. product of their work becomes a sense of their potential.. a safe vulnerability. Jeremy Heimans – (loved his presentation mode… it was face to face.. his videos showed us history of himself) entrepreneurialism.. showing up with nothing.. and doing stuff. how you can be more… be: purposeful, entrepreneurial, ny Rudy, transnational Sherry Turkle – can’t have participatory community unless you can talk to each other. couldn’t be fully present unless they were also absent. they wanted to know who wanted them. student: we are not as strong as tech’s pull. interest: reclaiming convo and community Jeffrey M Sparr – rethinking mental illness (totally.. Cathy Davidson’s post on: standardizing humanity.. if there are no standards.. do learning disabilities exist) peace in mind … love in your heart. Mark Freeman – loved MC Bateson quotes: stretched midlife so long, in desperate need for punctuation. and: active wisdom. now.. when you realize what matters… still have time left to live it out. (city as school feeds this) Lara Lee – you can’t turn a bike unless you lean in. lean into fear. Dries Buytaert – how to build a great community… unplug the server. it takes open source to licence fee/ regs. open source is an unstoppable trend. Tony Hsieh – a great brand is a story that never stops unfolding. (total city as school)city hub..lab.. don’t know where it starts nor where it ends. roi to roc.. return on community.4 min mile… thought it was impossible till someone did it.. then others did it… belief that it’s possible. Mike Lowinger – gotta have sole. Hillary Salmon – why not.. Valdis Krebs – event organizers don’t care about connections … they just care about the nodes. tweet from Saul he used: serendipity as service. (this was the be app as groundhog day)how to do random luck as a service.serendipity isn’t’s already out there… just need to unclothe it ( what tech wants to help us with) Tom Yorton – improv(e) your innovation. be nimble. rapid prototyping. yes and. what I love (one of the many thongs) about bif… i can explain what we’re doing with our obscure quiet revolution.. by referencing bif stories.. and by referencing #bmif… love that. grazie all… more to come.

wednesday, december 19, 2012

tony hsieh – vegas

a big experiment..

He can see the world through a completely different set of eyeballs than most people in the world.

“Money is just a way for Tony to get to his endgame,” says Moore. “Money just doesn’t matter to him. If he only had a million dollars left, he’d spend $999,999 to make Vegas work. He would be just as happy with a dollar in the bank and being around people he cares about and care about him.”


9th bridge


Jacobs and Hsieh and gentrification:

Jacobs feared that this chaotic but human landscape was under threat, lost forever in the rationalizing schemes of planners who desired order rather than life.
There is no place where one is allowed to be unproductive
“Coworking” is, therefore, one of those words that needs to be approached with caution. Dismantling the walls of the traditional office space can be liberating and highly creative, but it can also deliver insecurity, division, and constant work. As community and business collapse into each other, does this leave any space in the city outside the marketplace? Is there anything except work, customer service, and the rules of 24/7 Capitalism?

Hassan Massoumi exclaimed after he lost his store when the lease was not renewed, “My wife and I came here when no one else would. For 10 years, we worked seven days a week — not one day of vacation. Then one day, Tony Hsieh’s people tell us to get out of there.”

And for those that remain: Does everyone have to buy their daily food from the Downtown 3rd Farmers’ Market? Much has been made of the private schools and nurseries such as the 9th that use revolutionary educational techniques, but these cost up to $12,000 a year. It is telling that little is said about the parents who can’t afford these rates. Despite the marketing, this is the opposite of a diverse neighborhood in the making. Like so many examples of gentrification, these are the subtle mechanisms that sort out the unwanted from the desirable.


Eight Things Project 100 Tells Us About Mobility-as-a-Service

by Greg Lindsay mar 2014:

so much good for people.. why for profit..? aren’t we just starting all over.. w/ new toys?


sept 2014:

– – –

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mar 2015 – toward self-organizing ness – within zappos – holacracy:


may 2015:

210 opt out

reminds me of the partial ness of prospect ness

– – –

1 yr to be 5, 1 yr to try commons, 100% ness.

rat parkvision versions

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Zappos just pulled off the boldest management move, ever.

Original Tweet:


posted on fb by Erica


july 2015

two years in, employees are leaving their original circles and taking on new roles. Priorities are shifting, and no one, not even Mr. Hsieh, is sure how to pay people at a company with no job titles and fluid roles.

aboriginals wouldn’t need a rule book.. no? that’s key.


radical econ ness


sept 2015

Video: Inside Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s Unconventional World


jan 2017 – 5 years in

Since the 2014 layoffs, Downtown Project has continued to scale back its staff. Its head of operations, Michael Downs, explained last summer that 2018 was the new goal for Downtown Project to reach sustainability. But other than those two data points, Hsieh and his deputies have kept quiet on what the future holds for Downtown Project.

So what happens next? Increasing the Downtown Project’s chances of success in 10 or 20 years will require *allowing for more messiness and diversity of thought so that the very best ideas can truly come forward—and so that authentic community can build itself.

*try this man.. as it could be:

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

messaged Michael Downs


CityLab (@CityLab) tweeted at 5:26 AM – 28 Feb 2019 :
Las Vegas is piloting countless new technologies in public spaces in a bid to boost its smart-city brand. Worrying about the risks will come later, @mslaurabliss reports. (

no mention of tony/zappos.. but sidewalk and ny amazon reject mentioned

schools and homelessness big

there’s a downside to this iterative approach to city making: a lack of big-picture thinking can mean big-picture problems go unaddressed.


house fire



city ness