On ‘Experiences’ vs ‘Things’

Firstly, I must say that I am enjoying ‘Delivering Happiness‘ – a book about the last 10 years of Zappos.com – and it’s evolution from a tiny Silicon Valley start up to one of ‘best companies to work for’.

Tony Hsieh had a point that resonated very well with me – ‘Don’t spend on things, spend on experiences‘ . He illustrated his love for the same through examples in his personal life. Despite making 40 million of his first venture, he still kept the car he used following his college days and retained his old lifestyle. However..

– Inspired by the sit-com ‘Friends’, he wanted to create a place for his ‘tribe’ i.e. group of friends to hang out. So, he invested in converting his home into a ‘party loft’ where people could get together and spent time. And ‘Club BIO’ as it was called, became a centre for many many great experiences.

– A few years later, despite being low on finances, he decided to go ahead with his plan to trek up Mt Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. Zappos.com was plagued with difficulties then but he decided to still go as it would be an opportunity for him to clear his mind and ‘experience’ something new. The trip was extremely tough!! But, the experience of being amidst the clouds was unforgettable..

His focus on ‘experiences’ obviously rubbed off on Zappos.com as their first core value became ‘Deliver WOW through service‘. Tony worked very hard on creating an incredible customer experience i.e. a ‘WOW‘ experience. And thanks to that, Zappos.com enjoyed incredible growth and hit its $1 billion sales target 1 year ahead of schedule.. in December 2008!

This is a picture from Old Trafford, Manchester. Inspired by Tony Hsieh, I decided to invest in ‘experiences’ myself and finally went for a Manchester United game after having been a fan for 9 years! While this was not cheap, I am very glad I took his advice – for this was mind blowing. I cannot remember the last time I was THIS excited