Tony Hsieh's death reminds us that life is beautiful

As CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos for 21 years, Tony Hsieh was an early advocate in optimizing for employee happiness. He died on Thursday at 46 from injuries sustained in a house fire.

Tony Hsieh's death reminds us that life is beautiful

As CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos for 21 years, Tony Hsieh was an early advocate in optimizing for employee happiness. He died on Thursday at 46 from injuries sustained in a house fire. "His quest to create an environment where workers felt enthusiastic about their jobs and, by extension, their lives, is an indelible part of his legacy, one that reveals both the promise and the pitfalls of happiness as a corporate goal," says QZ.com. Hsieh had a very real, personal stake in envisioning the workplace as a place for close relationships and personal growth. In his 2013 book, Delivering Happiness, he described how Zappos grew sales from $1.6 million in 2000 to over $1 billion in 2008 by focusing relentlessly on customer service. He writes of realizing in his 20s how important a sense of wellness and belonging was to his personal happiness, and vowing “to make sure I never lost sight of the value of a tribe where people truly felt connected and cared about the well-being of one another.” As investigators rush to piece together evidence from a blaze in New London, Connecticut, perhaps the most important lesson to take away from Hsieh is that Life is Beautiful and to cherish every minute of we have in the land of the living. If we care about one thing as businesses, it's to make sure our employees are happy. Give them happiness without expecting or asking anything in return. "Tony's kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world," said a statement by his family. R.I.P., Tony Hsieh.