As stated by baseball revolutionary Babe Ruth in The Sandlot, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” Despite Babe Ruth’s distinction between heroes and legends, there is no doubt in the minds of those in the business world that Tony Hsieh will forever be labelled a legend. Well known for his dedication and leadership as CEO of the famous online shoe retailer Zappos, Tony Hsieh shocked the world last week with the news of his death. Hsieh once stated, “The best businesses are ones that can combine passion, profits, and purpose.” By finding a creative way to combine his passion, purpose, and his company’s profits, Hsieh’s abundant love and dedication to Zappos will forever label him as a legend to the retail industry and his legacy will continue to carry on into the future.
Heart-wrenching news circulated on Friday, November 27th that former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh had passed away at only 46. Hsieh is said to have passed on due to injuries he acquired through a house fire in Connecticut. Despite being so young, he had lived an incredibly noteworthy life and made abundant contributions to the world. Tony Hsieh once mentioned, “In business you must do something that’s above and beyond what’s expected.” He did exactly that when he used innovation to create Zappos. Although he was mostly known for his generosity and kindness, Hsieh revolutionized the future of the retail world as we know it today by starting his company. Companies like Amazon and Zappos revolutionized the future of the business world through innovation which encouraged the important shift to online retailing. The prominent online shoe company’s success displayed to the world the importance of online shopping and inspired other businesses to make the shift to online options as well.
Not only did Hsieh impact the future of business world, but he also made a notable impact in the city of Las Vegas in particular. In his novel Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, Tony Hsieh mentioned, “Happiness is really just about four things: perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness (number and depth of your relationships), and vision/meaning (being part of something bigger than yourself).” Despite being notarized for his leadership with Zappos, Tony Hsieh became a revolutionary through his vision to revitalize Las Vegas. In 2013, he made a plan to redevelop Las Vegas by pledging $350 million to the city’s renovation. After hearing the news of Hsieh’s death, the Nevada Governor displayed his condolences on Twitter and honored Hsieh’s legacy by stating, “Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas.” Despite Hsieh’s passing, his hard work, constant optimism, and generosity will always be remembered through the legacy he left behind.
Becoming a legend is much more involved than just making accomplishments in life. The biggest element to becoming a legend is not only the ability to live a life that grants you many accomplishments, but also through living a life that makes an impact in the lives of others. Tony Hsieh once said, “People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said but they always remember how you made them feel, that’s what matters the most.” Hsieh lived his life not just to make his company better, but he also lived a life that positively impacted everyone he encountered. Although most things in life are not certain, what is certain is the fact that Tony Hsieh is both a hero and a legend—someone who will forever be remembered and one who’s legacy will never die.
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