I heard the news about Tony Hsieh last night by text message. The latest in a years-long string of texts about Tony, sent by various mutual friends in Las Vegas.
Tony just bought the Ferguson Hotel.
Tony is turning Zappos into a Holacracy.
Tony is starting an airline.
Tony just turned Ferguson into a Airstream trailer park.
Tony is leaving the Ogden.
Tony just invested in the Las Vegas Knights.
Tony has a pet alpaca now.
Tony is moving into his trailer park.
Zappos is abandoning Holacracy.
I think Tony just bought a mountain.
Tony just quit Zappos!
Tony is apparently buying up half of Park City.
And then last night…
Tony Hsieh is dead.
I went straight to Twitter. Of course I did. And already my feed was packed with tributes to Tony. Everyone – everyone – had a Tony story to share. How he’d backed their company when no-one else would, how he’d helped them find a vegan restaurant during a trip to Vegas, or stayed up all night to give them a ride to the airport, or sent a delightful email about some missing shoes.
Even people who never met Tony had a Tony story – how his book had changed their life, or a chance encounter with the man had inspired them to build a better company.…