One of the fundamental changes that technology brings us is a change in the way we do business. One of the least-understood impact of such change is a change in culture.
When I went down to Las Vegas for CES, I was invited on a tour of Zappos by two Vegas social media starlets Bill Cody and Chris Rauschnot. I started the Zappos tour with a healthy dose of skepticism: “they can’t really love working there that much, could they?”
I’ll cut to the chase: I walked out a believer with a handful of business books from their free library and an appreciation for the blank slate technology has given entrepreneurs like us.
The most important thing I learned is that Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, had an opportunity to reinvent the way shoes are sold as a result of the Internet revolution. But rather than using technology to define the business, he used the technology to enable a new culture in customer service — by re-examining every little detail. (If you want to read more about the Zappos culture, I would recommend that you Google it. There’s been enough written about it to fill several books. Then go take a tour and see for yourself.)
The most direct reaction from my revelations at Zappos would have been to run to the airport, draft a long email on the flight and implement the practice by edict. Wouldn’t that have been easy and effective? But most importantly, it would have been a waste of time. Cultural changes don’t work that way.
Coincidentally, for weeks before visiting Zappos, I have been obsessed with finding The Cheezburger Way to do recruiting and hiring. It’s been priority #1 for me for weeks.
So, on the way home from Vegas, I took a deep breath and decided that culture was best built by the people who work here — so I started asking our team questions about what kind of a company we wanted Cheezburger to be and we started experimenting on our recruiting process, because that’s where it all starts.
It may be subtle and hard to notice, but this job listing for a “Supercharger” is the result of 6 weeks of interviews, research and soul-searching. Can you spot the difference?