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7 Weird Things We Learned About Zappos' Founder in Playboy

Tony Hsieh by Jake Chessum via <a href="">Inc.</a>
Tony Hsieh by Jake Chessum via Inc.

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Tony Hsieh isn't known for being shy about Zappos' offbeat path to success, but this Playboy interview is on a whole different level. The ratio of sex talk to work talk surprisingly skews in favor of work; Hsieh drops knowledge on everything from cultivating an environment that people want to work in (Tutu Tuesdays! Kilt Fridays!) to the value of delivering "wow" every day. If you have an hour to spare, soak up all of his wisdom over at Playboy, but we've provided the highlight reel here. It includes such keys to success as perpetually answering emails a day late and writing his book in two weeks on Excedrin and vodka-soaked coffee beans.

1. He hates shoes.

"I have zero interest in shoes. If anything, I have negative interest in shoes. And fashion. My outfit is the same every day: a Zappos T-shirt, jeans and sneakers."

2. Zappos may be built on the internet, but he doesn't believe in working remotely.

"The promise of the internet was that we'd all be working remotely from hammocks somewhere and ordering pizza with a click of a mouse. But your company culture demands that employees show up and stick around."

3. In work, the subject matter isn't as important as the theory behind it.

"Up until three years ago nothing related to urban planning was even on my radar. [Hsieh recently invested $350 million of his own money into revitalizing sections of downtown Las Vegas.] I had about as much interest in it as I did in shoes, but I've always loved thinking about how people interact."

4. He likes to experiment with his liquor.

"[Fernet] is an Italian liqueur I've introduced to a lot of people. Definitely an acquired taste. I didn't like it when I first tried it, but my pitch to friends is that it's a 'healthy' alcohol. It's flavored with herbs including ginseng, myrrh and chamomile. It tastes and smells like Chinese medicine, but it's a digestif, so 60 seconds after you drink it, it coats your stomach and helps get rid of any nausea."

5. He wrote his book Delivering Happiness in two weeks with the help of Excedrin and vodka-soaked coffee beans.

"I found it was easy to write once I was in the mood, but it was hard to get in the mood. So I tried various things based on feedback from writer friends. Vodka first, then coffee and then, yes, I actually soaked coffee beans in the vodka. But I found the most effective technique was taking Excedrin when I didn't have a headache because there's actually a lot of caffeine in Excedrin. I ended up writing the whole book in about two weeks' time."

6. He answers all of his emails a day behind.

"Actually there's a technique I like called Yesterbox. I'm able to stay on top of things because every morning when I wake up, in my inbox or to-do list are yesterday's e-mails. I know exactly how many e-mails I need to get through, and there's a sense of progress."

7. He wants his employees to be genuinely nice people.

"We've said no to a lot of smart, talented people we knew could make an immediate impact on our top or bottom line. If they didn't get the job, it could have been because they weren't nice to the Zappos shuttle-bus driver on the way from the airport."

· Playboy Interview: Tony Hsieh [Playboy]
· Zappos CEO's Renovation of Downtown Vegas Angers Locals [Racked Las Vegas]
· Would You Buy 'Couture' From Zappos With Same Day Shipping? [Racked]