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Fun and a Little Weird

March 14, 2013 , , ,


Zappos intentionally transformed the workplace of the telephone bank ordering system.  Since this service of taking orders from customers and executing them will continue, serious thought was put into making the job more fun.  The tour of the Zappos office will convince you that something very different is afoot.  They are used to being observed on the job, and seem to enjoy flaunting costuming, toys, banners, and personal expression of every kind.   It made me think of a friend of mine who worked in a cubicle for Quantas, doing reservations.  The company issued a memo that no personal items could be displayed in the cubicle of any kind.  My friend removed her personal decor and displayed instead the memo itself as her new decoration. The hostility she felt for her incredibly insensitive employer had to come through on every call.

Repression never works, and I am living proof. I have instinctive distrust of dogma, certifications and senseless regulations. Giving people the creative freedom to contribute to the group beats a hierarchy with power issues every time. Zappos does create titles, but they can be very non traditional.  My tour guide had the title Culture Clown, which sounded to me like a very fine position.  Her job was to tour and explain to the public how being fun and weird at work is good for the human race.  This seems obvious, so her job is pretty easy, if not always a barrel of monkeys.

The reasons I think Floatli is the perfect official sport for Zappos:

  • You look like a robot when you are in the equipment
  • It makes you feel silly as soon as you feel it, usually inspires giggles
  • It is the exact opposite of what you do the rest of the time in gravity
  • It is the opposite of wearing shoes
  • When you fall, you fall up  (more than a little weird)
  • Vegas is HOT, and you all need to get in the water
  • It is fun, and much weirder than you can imagine

You do not need to imagine. Say the word and I will fly up and Floatli with you.  If it is not fun and weird enough for you I will be very surprised.

What do you think?

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Zappos.. really interesting company. I wish they had an office here. this is fun!!


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

March 14, 2013

Interesting idea, I like it. Though I must confess, I’m not anti-establishment or anti-hierarchy as such, I’m in favour of shaking things up. Awesome. 🙂


Ryan Brooks

March 15, 2013

Thanks a lot, Ryan. I am super impressed with Zappos and the philosophy they follow.



March 15, 2013

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