Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Questions for Tony of Zappos and Andrew of Groupon? Step Right Up!


Later today, BoomTown will be onstage at Dealmaker Media’s Grow2010 conference in Vancouver, Canada, to interview Tony Hsieh, CEO and co-founder of Zappos, and Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon.

Hsieh has just written a book, “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose,” which is topping the best-seller lists.

It essentially chronicles how he built the customer-service-focused online retailer, which was sold for $850 million to Amazon (AMZN) last year.

Mason is also a bit of a phenom, having turned the social local buying service into a start-up juggernaut, garnering massive funding and a valuation of above $1 billion.

Yesterday, Groupon had a big day, offering its first national social discount at the Gap (GPS), which blew off the doors at the service.

I will ask both the usual questions, but feel free to suggest any for me to use.

Note to Tony: No trying to hug me or getting me to do a group cheer.

Note to Andrew: No, I do not want a 50-percent-off spa treatment today.

Of course, I will post video updates with both innovative–and unusually likable–entrepreneurs later, but here are the interviews I did with each earlier this year to enjoy until then:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work