A lot of entrepreneurs use Zappos’ success as a roadmap when they’re working on building their own company, especially a company culture. However, at this year’s Tech Cocktail Celebrate Conference, Shane Green and Jenn Lim explicitly stated that you shouldn’t try to actually be Zappos.
It’s not because Zappos isn’t successful, but rather because situations an early-stage startup versus Zappos will find themselves in is like night and day.
“Try to be small. Have a simple story that talks about the alignment of your company. Tell us the story of your product,” says Green.
The company culture is still crucial, and no founder should put it off. Company culture will happen regardless, and if you neglect building a central pillar of that culture somebody else will; you might not like the outcome.
So, yes, use Zappos’ successful culture as models of excellence, but at the same time don’t try to bite off more than you can chew just to be Zappos. According to the duo, it’s a crucial first step. Here’s the video: