The Downtown Project And What Does It Have To Do With Ebooks? …by Susan Lute

Absolutely nothing. Except, I’m reading Urbanophile, about Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, who is Steam punk girl with Typewriter.spearheading the revitalization of downtown Las Vegas. It’s called The Downtown Project. I’m sorry to say, I had never heard of Zappos before today, so I had to google it. Shoe lovers of the cyber-world, don’t throw your worn out Zappos at me. At, it looks like they sell more than shoes, but when I scrolled down to the bottom of the page, trying not to read how really cool some of these shoes were, I found something incredibly interesting.

Zappos Family Core Value: 2. Embrace and Drive Change.

Clearly The Downtown Project Las Vegas is a challenging project. And I had every intention of writing about how this project is a mirror for Indie authors…any kind of author really, traditional, and hybrid, but I ran across core value #2 and couldn’t leave it alone until I found value #1. The sweet thing about the internet, as you all know, is you can click on almost anything and it will take you somewhere. So I clicked on Embrace and Drive Change, and just at you’d expect, it took me to the very list I was looking for – not just #1 and #2, but a whole list of 10. Here they are:

Zappos Family Core Value:

  1. Deliver WOW through Service.

  2. Embrace and drive change.

  3. Create fun and a little weirdness.

  4. Be adventurous, creative, and open minded.

  5. Pursue growth and learning.

  6. Build open and honest relationships with communication.

  7. Build a positive and family spirit.

  8. Do more with less.

  9. Be passionate and determined.

  10. Be humble.

Many of you have hung around the water cooler here at See Jane long enough, you know where I going with this. Before we go there, let me add the piece from the Urbanophile that first caught my eye. The magic that Tony Hsieh is bringing to The Downtown project (in MHO) is the same magic we writers bring…or should be bringing…to the publishing industry. As quoted from Urbanophile (and paraphrased a little)… “The magic is happiness, luckiness, innovation, and productivity.”

The Downtown Project is about believing in something better, and building community. The Zappos Family Core Value list tells us how. I published my first traditional book in 2003, my first Indie title in 2011. We started this blog in July 2011. Over this varied journey, I’ve come to believe two things with my whole heart. To sell books you have to write more books. And, writing is not about selling books, though that is a happy by-product, and some of us will be lucky enough to sell a lot of books. Writing is about building community. I think Zappos has given us a ten-step program to accomplish this difficult task. My favorite is #8 Do more with less.

It sets my heart all aflutter. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to go check out those shoes.


About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on July 9, 2013, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I love these core values! It is unique for a business to not only have values like this, but to actually consciously implement them. Unfortunately, though their shoes are cute, most of them don’t work for me as the highest heel I ever have is less than an inch and usually not even that. But I applaud their business ethics and community involvement.

    I also agree that you can apply these to writing a great book.


  2. I just caught a moment of a segment, and was intrigued. Of course, I always think…how can this work for writing? lol!


  3. Interesting guy and great philosophy. I think 60 Minutes did a piece of Hsieh. Thanks for the excellent post.


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