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I’ve been intrigued and, I guess, pleasantly surprised to read about the Amazon acquisition of Zappos.  I’ve purchased from both companies and have been consistently happy with the experience, so kind of cool to see them come together.

Two things, though, that I’ve found particularly noteworthy:

  • Simply, the way they’ve approached communicating the acquisition. Most mergers and acquisitions are communicated very formally through an intricate plan concocted by an expensive PR firm.  What comes out is too often impersonal, full of business jargon, and seemingly disingenuous.   In the case of Zappos and Amazon, I, presumably like many others, found out about the acquisition through a letter that was published on Tony Hsieh’s blog and pushed out through @zappos on Twitter.  The letter includes a YouTube video introducing Jeff Bezos, dressed in jeans and a casual button-down, talking about his values and telling stories about his early days as a bootstrapping entrepreneur.  What a breath of fresh air!
  • Jeff Bezos’s support for patient capital. While he doesn’t come out in support of patient capital explicitly, Jeff is very clear that doing what is best for the customer often is not at first best for investors.  It takes time and lots of hard work for customer-obsessed innovations to pay off.  If that’s not a full-throated endorsement of social entrepreneurship and patient capital, I just don’t know what is. Listen for yourself.


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