March 14, 2013

Luck Matters (and You Can Only Make Some of It)

Luck Matters ( and You Can Only Make Some of It) There was a great article recently in the Financial Times that’s worth reading here.  (Warning – you might have to complete a free registration in order to read this article.)  The premise is that most outliers, to use Malcolm Gladwell’s term, achieve their super status at least partly through luck.  And once that status is achieved, the good things just pile on from there.  This concept is as much Gladwell’s as that term is. I always say that “you can make your own luck.”  And to some extent, that’s true.  Hard work and persistence and creativity can eventually open up doors on their own, no question about it.  While this article doesn’t say there are limitations to that axiom, it does note that hard work, persistence, and creativity PLUS some good luck is the more likely path to being #1 in your field. Think about it this way – why is the most gifted golfer of the last 15 years someone who grew up in Southern California with a father who loved golf, and not, say, someone from the sub-Saharan region of Africa?  The latter person might have the […]


December 6, 2012

Book Short: Culture is King

Book Short:  Culture is King Tony Hsieh’s story, Delivering Happiness (book, Kindle), is more than just the story of his life or the story of Zappos. It’s a great window into the soul of a very successful company and one that in many ways has become a model for great culture and a great customer service model.  It’s a relatively quick and breezy read, and it contains a handful of legendary anecdotes from Zappos’ history to demonstrate those two things — culture and customer service — in action. As Hsieh himself says in the book, you can’t copy this stuff […]


May 14, 2008

Legal Aggression

Legal Aggression I will write more posts on this topic later in the year after a ridiculous lawsuit we’re in the middle of now winds up, but today’s news from Techdirt is that shoe retailer DSW is suing Zappos, who as regular readers know is one of my favorite companies and shopping experiences around. The lawsuit sounds silly to me, but I’m not in the middle of the details of it.  But what absolutely amazes me is that DSW made no effort to contact Zappos prior to launching the lawsuit with a press release.  How incredibly irresponsible and rude and […]


January 7, 2007

They’ve Destroyed Both Companies

They’ve Destroyed Both Companies Just when you thought Verizon was in fact the worst company in the world to do business with (see my post here if for some reason you’re not on that page), along comes FedEx/Kinkos. I used to be a huge fan of both companies.  I was even a fan of the merger and felt like it particularly made sense in light of UPS purchasing Mailboxes Etc.  And I don’t know if our experiences are representative, but Mariquita and I have had nothing but bad experiences with both FedEx and Kinkos for the past couple of years. […]


December 17, 2006

Merry Whatever

Merry Whatever We had two horrendous customer service experiences at Return Path lately that just leave me scratching my head about how one could possibly run a business that way. In the process of buying some holiday gifts for a few of our larger clients, we first tried to order gift baskets from Harry & David.  But we couldn’t, because they wouldn’t take our order via Excel spreadsheet — our office manager would have had to enter each order in a web form by hand.  I imagine the conversation going something like this: Andrea from Return Path:  “Hi, I’d like […]


August 23, 2006

Getting Good Inc.

Getting Good Inc. There’s an old saying in PR about “getting good ink,” referring to good press – a phrase that will probably replaced by something like “getting good bits” soon enough now, I’m sure. Anyway, Return Path was very fortunate to be ranked #167 in this year’s Inc. Magazine Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in America.  See the list here and our press release here.  We were also happy to see clients of ours like Constant Contact, Fishbowl, and Zappos on the list, as well as fellow email companies Exact Target, Vertical Response, and research […]