Tony Hsieh might be considered an e-commerce genius now, but back in 1995 he was just a college grad without a plan. When Hsieh first heard of the idea for an online marketplace for shoes he almost passed on the offer to invest--until he heard the potential size of the market. He went on to build his empire in large part by making management decisions that at times seemed at odds with empire-building. 

Check out the timeline below to see the pivotal--and sometimes surprising--moves that made Hsieh the entrepreneur he is today.