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Reader Mail: September 2010

Stealing Tony Hsieh’s recipe for success.
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A Winning Combination

I'm glad Amazon recognized the unique atmosphere Tony Hsieh created at Zappos ["Why I Sold Zappos," June]. Profitability, long-term engagement, committed employees -- you couldn't ask for a better recipe for success.

Lucretia M. Pruitt
Owner, Social Media Matters
Denver

The Zappos philosophy is great for the most part, but having worked for a company that strongly encouraged employees to socialize, I will say be careful. There is such a thing as too much togetherness. You want employees to be happy and form some friendships, but sometimes people need to walk away from work and get on with their lives.

Lee Kellett
Principal/owner, LK Consulting
Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Quality Control

I loved reading about Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard ["A Little Enlightened Self-Interest," June]. Quality products and quality of life go hand in hand. And, as an über-capable 43-year-old woman who has just reentered the workplace, I give Chouinard credit for seeking out older women who have raised families as an untapped resource. He is an inspired pioneer.

Marguerite Valinoti White
Community marketing manager The Sports Authority
Chatham, New Jersey

It's great that Sky Factory founder Bill Witherspoon ["The Art of Work," June] was able to implement various systems that empower employees and establish a productive business. That said, I have worked with people who just want to do a job with well-defined responsibilities, then go home. So hiring for cultural fit is critical for companies such as The Sky Factory.

Celina C. Macaisa
Freelance virtual assistant, TIGERS Success Series
Bend, Oregon

Doing Well and Good

Blake Mycoskie is one of the best examples of what an entrepreneur should be [The Way I Work, June]. While building my telecommunications company, I struggled to balance my business and my social interests. My business has finally taken off beyond all expectations because of something that Toms Shoes illustrates perfectly: Linking your business and social responsibility keeps your priorities in sync. We've accomplished this by giving a percentage of profits directly to charitable causes, almost exclusively those that help children create a better future for themselves. The more we grow, the more we help them. Keep up the great work, Blake.

Jake Carey-Rand
President, Innovative Visions
Emsworth, West Sussex, United Kingdom

Does Writing Matter?

There are some awesome points in Jason Fried's column about hiring [Get Real, June]. A cover letter can definitely give a much better idea of a candidate as a person than a resumé. But I don't agree with Fried's practice of always hiring the better writer, because that skill does not always have bearing on job performance. Would Fried really hire one IT person over another just because the person can write?

Marian Schembari
Social media consultant
New York City

Back to the Books

I was reading my favorite magazine, Inc., last weekend, and I truly thought it was one of the best issues. I loved the stories about Zappos and Toms Shoes. Best of all was the feature about book collector Edward Surovell [Passions, June]. In this age of online media, e-books, and TV, I loved seeing this real estate guru surrounded by a library of rare books.

Ada Polla
CEO, Alchimie Forever
Washington, D.C.

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Last updated: Sep 1, 2010




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