SXSW Books Are The New Vinyl Panel 3/20 – 5pm

Books Are The New Vinyl #Twitter post

Books are the New Vinyl

Friday, March 20
5:00PM – 6:00PM

Austin Convention Center
Room 16AB
Austin Convention Center

As the digital age sucks more and more books into your iPad or Kindle, the need to have the physical in front of you that you can touch and feel and look at becomes an obsession. Yes, we want e-books and audio books, but just as the resurgence of vinyl has created a new cult status, so will the printed book, beautiful in all it’s physical glory. Interesting stories, innovative ideas and visual content demands a physical component.

Hashtags  #sxsw #BooksMatter

Marc Gerald @TheAgencyGroup
Moderator: @Rynda


Russell Brand to miss SxSW Keynote with Brain Solis. My thoughts & why I care.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 2.40.21 PMAlthough I am very disappointed that Russell Brand will not be attending SXSW I support his decision. Who cares what I think? Well, because I conceived and coordinated the “Russell Brand’s Revolution Will Be Televised” interview with Brian Solis at SXSW in the first place many many people have been asking me….

My reasons for wanting Russell at SXSW to talk about Revolution were altruistic in nature, I wanted his current message to reach even more people. I watch The Trews almost daily and am sometimes in awe of his his uncanny ability to take really serious issues, explain the source of conflict, expose some truths, make us think and of course make us laugh.

I should note that I reached out to Russell directly with the idea to talk at SXSW well before I knew there was a film.  Things seemed to line up perfectly, I asked Brian Solis who was exited about it, I got his contact info from a friend and then I randomly ended up in his LA based Yoga class (which I had no prior knowledge of his involvement there). I know this is what Jung calls synchronicity and it happens to me often when things are supposed to happen. I put a lot of thought into the subject matter and had it all spelled out. Russell agreed to it immediately and we were off… fast forward to his announcement today.

When Russell called me to tell me why he was not coming (and yes he actually called me because our correspondence had been direct and he is a stand up gentlemen behind that wacky persona), I understood his dilemma completely. He was finding it difficult to watch the film that was also premiering in Austin and although what we had setup had nothing to do with it, it was connected by circumstance. I understand because on a more personal level I share his journey of recovery and desire for self realization – the goal being to go from an empty self centered person using drugs and alcohol to fill the void, to a self aware person integrating love and spiritual principals to feel connected to humanity. I can’t imagine sitting through a movie of myself during such a journey and his is a million times more intense and public.

Yes, I am disappointed, but ultimately I support Russell and his evolution to revolution.

Thank you to Nik Linnen, Brian Solis and Jessica Cox at SXSW for everything.


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SXSW Statement

Some time ago when I was a newly recovering junkie sinking my teeth into succulent transatlantic fame we were contacted by a respected filmmaker who asked if I’d like to make a documentary about happiness and I leapt, ego first into a caper that would take 7 years and as many directors to complete.

Due primarily to my loopy truculence the process quickly got a bit muddled and we parted ways and I stumbled on with the project enlisting a series of different directors and producers, some of whom were dear friends, others were Oscar winners (all were good people) to do the real graft. It was chaos; we ended up in US Marine training camps, Louisiana penitentiaries, Occupy protests and backstage at MTV award shows with the world’s biggest stars.

Over the sprawling time period in which we’d been in production I’d transitioned from an attention-seeking missile, exploding into exhibitionism at every turn, into a man who, whilst still a show-off, was becoming disillusioned and disconnected from fame, celebrity and all it’s sticky ephemera.

When it was suggested that Ondi Timoner, the highly respected filmmaker who directed one of my favorite docs, “Dig!” take over the project I was relieved – as were the film’s, by now understandably anxious backers.

I let go of my mad ambition to direct and star in what had become a shambles and handed the reigns over to Ondi, who wanted creative control and to make a documentary about me and my transition from a relatively conventional celebrity to whatever the hell it is I am now.

Ondi is a very beautiful person and a director of peerless integrity, I suppose what I didn’t consider was that in letting go of the film, I was agreeing to be the subject of a biography. Posthumously this is a great honor but while you’re alive, oddly intrusive and melancholy.

You’d think a narcissist would like nothing more than talking about themselves and their “rags to riches”, “hard luck” story but actually, it felt like, to me, my life was hard enough the first time round and going through it again was painful and sad.

I know Ondi is an artist and I’m told the film is good but for me watching it was very uncomfortable.

I apologise sincerely to the organisers of sxsw for my non-attendance, especially Janet Pierson, Brian Solis and Rynda Laurel from the interactive festival who were responsible for the keynote talk that I was due to do.



SXSW Music Conference Spotlight: Books are the New Vinyl

Music Conference Spotlight: Books are the New Vinyl
Written by Andy Flynn | February 13, 2015

Photos (l-r): Frank Turner, Chuck D

Consider the recent surge in vinyl sales, and how book publishers could take a cue from the record business to apply savvy tactics to ensure that physical books find their audience. On Friday, March 20 at the SXSW Music Conference, a compelling group of speakers will speak on the panel Books Are The New Vinyl.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Chuck D continues to stir up culture via rap, public speaking and writing.Danny Bland has shared his unvarnished tales of life on the road in In Case We Die and I Apologize In Advance For The Awful Things I’m Gonna Do. Noted English singer-songwriter Frank Turner is currently assembling a memoir of his touring stories. Artist manager and SXSW veteran Rynda Laurelmoderates and literary agent Marc Gerald rounds out the panel.

Books offer distinct joys as physical objects. The visual and sensory experience are unique and important. Explore the topic further at SXSW Music – today, Friday, February 13, the final day toregister before rates increase to full price.

Andy Flynn is the creator of The Daily Chord, a collection of pertinent stories from the worlds of music.

Frank Turner photo courtesy of the speaker
Chuck D photo Jesse Knish


sxsw 2015 sotlight booksarethenewvinyl 1 sxsw 2015 sotlight booksarethenewvinyl 2

SXSW 2015 Books Are The New Vinyl w/ Rynda, Chuck D & Danny Bland!

SXSW 15 Books Rynda Chuck DannyBooks are the new vinyl.

As the digital age sucks more and more books into your iPad or Kindle, the need to have the physical in front of you that you can touch and feel and look at becomes an obsession. Yes, we want e-books and audio books, but just as the resurgence of vinyl has created a new cult status, so will the printed book, beautiful in all it’s physical glory. Interesting stories, innovative ideas and visual content demands a physical component. Rynda Laurel (curator) will discuss the topic with Chuck D (Public Enemy/Enemy Books) and Awful Things & In Case We Die Author Danny Bland (Subpop, Fantagraphics) and maybe a surprise guest or two.


awful things 456x456Topics Covered:

Where do you start? How to motivate and get to the end product.

How easy is it to publish a book – digital or physical?

How and why to come up with innovative content ideas. (Like a haiku photo book?)

Why partnerships with art galleries, fan funding, crowd sourced books, and collaborations are the future.

How and why are record labels getting into the act? (Like Subpop and Third man Books)






Rynda Creativity and Inspiration Mentor at SXSW V2V

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Get the most out of your V2V experience by participating in The Mentor Program. Benefit from the knowledge of an established professional and gain seven minutes of focused, one-on-one career council.


Rynda’s panel at SXSW MUSIC 2014 New Tech and Established Artists

Now and Then: New Tech and Established Artists

When:  Wednesday March 12th. 3:30pm  Austin Convention Center Room 17 A

Who:   Rynda Laurel, Jeffrey Jampol, Jason Feinberg, Nick Lippman, James Blades


RSVP: SXSWmusic 2014 PANEL: Now and then. New tech and established artists.


GD new tech

Artists, managers and marketers embrace and seek out new technologies, social media strategies and online marketing campaigns to catapult their artists into the now. With the resurgence of legacy artists online, reunions galore and the 90’s being considered “classic” there is a movement towards reactivating, reuniting and reinvigorating fanbases. Yes, there are “built in” fans out there, but how do you find them? How do you engage them? How do you keep them coming back? There are strategic steps to this process based on the psycho-graphics of the fan and their relationship with technology.




@Rynda @JJampol @JasonFeinberg @MrLippman  @JamesBlades

#TechAnR  #SXSW #SXSW2014

Rynda’s Panel at SXSW 2013: Herding Cats
















Panel: Herding Cats: New Digital Management for Artists
Day: Saturday, March 16
Room: Room 17B Austin Convention Center
Start Time: 12:30 PM End Time: 1:30 PM

In today’s music management and marketing environment every single aspect of a career must be incorporated into the digital space. Digital Managers integrate innovative online experiences, unique marketing campaigns, direct-to-fan management, platform integration, content creation, tour marketing and utilization of new technologies. The new digital manager moves far beyond social media management into a complete online presence strategy with a focus on social capital and new revenue streams.



MODERATOR Rynda Laurel CEO Digital Mgr 1968media
Rynda Laurel has an extensive background in the music business, stemming from her early days working in A&R, artist management and music supervision, followed by an evolutionary transition into digital – specifically in the areas of social media, digital marketing and brand development. Currently, she is focused on working with established artists like The Smashing Pumpkins, Chuck D/Public Enemy and Greg Dulli/The Afghan Whigs. She also consults for music-based startups, facilitates innovative and creative partnerships and sits on advisory boards for a number of non-profit organizations including Sweet Relief. Because of her expertise in these different areas, you will often find her speaking or presenting at international conferences on a variety of subjects. For more information go to


Jon Romero Dir of Digital Media Vector Management
Jon Romero has been pushing the envelope in the digital music space since 2007. His career started to flourish at Vector Management, a leading artist management company, as the digital space matured and the term “viral” was becoming a part of everyday conversations. The knowledge and experience that Romero has garnered through the years, has put him in the position to work closely with artists as they build strategies around the release of new material and vie to get the attention of their fan base in a cluttered market place. His work and influence with hit makers such as the Kings Of Leon and Ke$ha can be seen in their staggering social statistics, and every day communication with their audience. Romero has helped heritage acts like Peter Frampton grow his fan base from 10k fans to over a half million in 6 months time, while simultaneously driving increased ticket sales for his Frampton Comes Alive! 35 Anniversary Tour. Other artists Romero works with includes: Trace Adkins, Randy Travis, Steve Vie, Lyle Lovett, Patti Griffin, The Walflowers, Manchester Orchestra, Michael McDonald, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and many more.


Jessica Meehan Consultant
Jessica Meehan has worked in various industries in the digital space, including web start-ups and health care, the latter bringing her to her first SxSW three years ago. This cross-industry experience has given her the ability to convert successful business and marketing trends from across industries into those that work for musicians

Jessica has also worked in various capacities within music, managing digital endeavors and properties for artists as part of artist management, online event promotion for a family of venues, and developing digital marketing campaigns for new albums at a distribution company. She currently works in business development and community management for a major label division focused on ticketing and artist-to-fan experiences, while also working independently with established and up-and-coming artists to expand their online presence. She also consults on digital marketing for independent musicians, as well as for properties in film and television. Currently, she is the digital manager for five-time Grammy winner Victor Wooten (of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), expanding his online reach while promoting tour dates, album and web-based merchandise sales.

Other artists with whom she’s worked include Martha Wainwright, John Mayer, Sarah McLachlan, Ray LaMontagne, the Walkmen, Walk the Moon and many more.

Follow her @jessica_meehan


Mike Rosenthal Label Mgr Paracadute
Mike Rosenthal has overseen strategy and digital execution for the band OK Go since 2009. In January of 2010 he helped the band transition away from their major label and set up their own independent record label and production company, Paracadute. Mike runs Paracadute, overseeing album releases for the small but growing roster and managing the execution of OK Go’s diverse creative endeavors. Mike is also the co-founder and organizer of the Blip Festival, an international electronic music festival celebrating 8-bit music and visuals.


Brian Wilkins Business Dev/Artist Rel Advisor PledgeMusic
Brian Wilkins is an entrepreneur and music industry executive who has built his career by utilizing his passion for music, technology, and artist relations to help clients grow their business. Brian has held executive positions at record labels, artist management and music/mobile tech companies. Brian’s resume includes stints at nTunes, one of the first ecommerce radio platforms, as well as major label partners including Sony/BMG Entertainment, RED Music and INgrooves. In 2008, Brian brought his experience within the digital music space to Rebel-One Management, establishing digital platforms, social graph engagement and new revenue/brand channels for top tier artists including Rihanna and K’Naan. Brian continues engaging his passion for music and technology as both an Artist Manager and Business Development/Artist Relations Advisor for music/mobile based start-ups. He has spoken and served on panels for thought leading music conferences including SXSW, CMJ and SF Music Tech. Brian is also an advisor for the music based charity Musicians On Call.



Public Enemy at SXSW -Doritos #BOLDSTAGE

Public Enemy along with LL Cool J, Ice Cube and Doug E Fresh play the Dorritos #boldstage on Thursday March 14th.  Adding to the fantastic line-up is an interactive element in a bold way.

How it works via MASHABLE:

“Mama said knock you out,” LL Cool J once quipped, and if you want him to rap those historic fighting words during South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, all you have to do is tweet.The rapper — along with Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Doug E. Fresh — are headlining Doritos‘ interactive concert on March 14. Twitter engagement from concertgoers and fans watching the live stream remotely will affect the outcome of the opening act, special effects, onscreen visuals and the encore song, Doritos exclusively told Mashable.

Hashtag #BoldStage will power the interactivity on Doritos’ concert stage, which is a 62-foot vending machine with a four-story LCD screen that will encourage people to tweet and showcase their photos. The infographic below explains exactly how to participate.

For example, three up-and-coming artists (Devin Miles, Seth Sentry and Snow Tha Product) will battle right before the main event to become the show’s opening act. To win, they have to attract the most #BoldStage tweets with the one song they get to perform.

The hashtag will influence LL Cool J’s encore number, what photos appear on the LCD screen and when smoke, lasers, pyro, balloons, confetti and beach balls will be used.

Doritos will stream the show on Facebook, while Mass Relevance will calculate tweets.

During the concert, Doritos will launch its first global marketing campaign — “For the Bold” — which will purportedly give the brand a new image. The rebranding includes redesigned packaging.

“We’ll be using the four-story screen to unveil the look and feel,” Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay, told Mashable. “We’ll also launch new TV ads.”

How Mass Relevance Will Calculate Your Tweets

“The Mass Relevance platform has firehouse access to Twitter’s API, which means that all Twitter content that is sourced through the Mass Relevance is happening in real-time,” Mass Relevance CEO Sam Decker said. “Reporting built into the platform gives insight into how many tweets per minute are occurring based on the keywords, hashtags, users, et cetera, that the brand is using as criteria to filter and display content.”

Brian Solis and Client Billy Corgan at SXSW 2012

Brian Solis and Billy Corgan sxsw 2012

A few months back Brian Solis tweeted about one of his favorite artists who happens to be one of mine. We ended up in a discussion about music and he came up with the idea of having Billy Corgan, who was my client at the time, on his End Of The Music Business as Usual Keynote at SXSW 2012.

After 1000’s of e-mails, texts and schedule changes, thanks to Peter Katsis and Deb Klein at Prospect Park, and of course SXSW and Billy Corgan, we managed to organize it.

Here are the highlights:
About the Interview
Video of The Interview
Post Interview with Brian
Google Play Interview
What’s Trending with Shira Lazar
Billy on InfoWars


SXSW 2011 CauseWeRock Panel: Thank You!

I’d like to thank the wonderful people who participated in the “Help I Need Somebody, Musicians With A Cause” panel. I’d also like to thank the fine people at SXSW for helping to organize this right up to the last minute!

From Left to Right:
Jason Thomas Gordon, Kingsize, Founder Music Gives to St. Jude Kids
Peter Griesar, Musician,
Kathy Valentine, Musician, The GoGo’s, Bluebonnets
Patty Schemel, Drummer, Hit So Hard
Brandon Deroche, Musician, Causecast
Rynda Laurel, Moderator, CauseWeRock

SXSW Music: What it Takes to Get and promote Gigs

Was honored to be asked to fill in as a panelist for this great topic! Thanks Lou!

What It Takes to Get and Promote Gigs

New, emerging, and established artists are having difficulty filling venues. Could it be that artists are not being booked in the right places? Could it be that ticket prices are too high even for smaller artists? Is it because nobody knows how to best promote the gigs? Or is it all of the above? This panel will focus on everything you wanted to know about getting a gig and how to promote it effectively and efficiently, and how new technologies can play a vital role in all this. Each panelist is an expert in their field and will talk about the traditional and nontraditional methods of booking and promoting gigs.


About Rynda’s SXSW 2011 CauseWeRock Panel: Help I Need Somebody



CauseWeRock is happy to announce that our first event will be at SXSW Music 2011! Saturday March 19th @ 3:30pm

Help! I Need Somebody: Musicians With a Cause

What are musicians doing to give back? Plenty. Join our panel of superstar artists as they discuss why they get involved. Listen to personal stories relating to health issues, green/environment initiatives, activism and more. From personal appearances, monetary support, living by example, donating goods and content etc, musicians have a platform to speak to a wide audie…nce and create awareness and involvement with their fans. Hear first hand how music, musicians and YOU can change lives. We will also look at how social networks, mobile applications and online platforms help musicians/organizations to expand their message.

Confirmed panelists:

Kathy Valentine, The GoGo’s, Bluebonnets


Patty Schemel, Drummer, Hit So Hard

Brandon Deroche, Causecast

current campaign:

Peter Griesar,

Jason Thomas Gordon, Kingsize, Founder Music Gives to St. Jude Kids is focused on showcasing music artists who are involved in philanthropic activities.

SXSW official page:
Hashtag: #sxswCWR

thanks for your support!
Rynda Laurel, Founder

SXSW 2010: WomensRadio Blog about The Power Pie Panel

SXSW 2010: The Power Pie
Published: April, 2010 |

By Brian Ball, Host of WomensRadio Music Review

Click here to read the original WomensRadio Blog Post

Feeling bright-eyed and bushy tailed, we were up and at ’em again by 9AM; leaving ourselves plenty of time to charge up for our last full day of SXSW 2010.  Up first on the docket was the all-woman panel, “The Power Pie: Purpose, Passion, Performance and People”, presented by Ariel Hyatt (Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR, Author of Music Success in Nine Weeks), Jody Gnant (Edelman Digital), Deborah Crooks (SF Independent Singer-Songwriter) and Rynda Laurel (

As mentioned during introductions, the panel was brought together by all four members’ realization that in order to create a successful career for oneself as a musician in today’s world, one must first build a strong team that is both diverse and cohesive in execution while drafting and implementing a concrete plan of attack to guide each member along the way.

“There’s a completely new model of how to market your brand if you’re an artist … it’s all about creating a team.” –Rynda Laurel

The expertise offered during the panel was top-notch, and having been our first attended all-woman panel at SXSW, made it even more of a special memory.

Among the many tips and tricks offered during the panel, it was through the use of the following formula the panelists shared exactly which “ingredients” one should prepare prior to baking their “Power Pie”, thereby executing a successful business campaign in today’s music world.

(x) Set your goals + (y) Create a timeline + (z) Know who can help you = (P) Power Pie

“The whole thing I’ve got going right now is aligning my music with either cause-related events or campaigns that are consistent with my art, my audience and my beliefs.” –Deborah Crooks



SXSWi 2010: French by Southwest

 Working with a great group of French Companies going to SXSW!

Follow the French By South West Blog

Follow on Twitter @FrenchSXSW

About French by South West

March 12-16 2010

We are French Entrepreneurs, Marketers, Managers, Sociologists, innovation trackers, Techies and Geeks.Our group includes Start-ups, Multinational Companies, EstablishedBrands and Associations. We love new technology and innovation, workingtogether on projects and business partnerships, participating in ThinkTanks, CoWorking and Shared Experiences.


We have put together a blog and various social media outlets and toolsto help narrate our adventure in Austin. We will share feedback, viewsand analysis on emerging technologies and emerging practices in generaland on specific issues for the French. We will meet with companies fromall backgrounds; identify opportunities for collaboration andpre-launch new projects.


SXSW 2010 Freshly Picked Music Panels: The Power Pie


SXSW 2010 Freshly Picked Music Panels:

The Power Pie: Purpose, Passion, Performance and People

WHEN: Friday March 19th, 12:30- 1:30pm

Learn from fellow artists, social media cheerleaders, new/old school musicbiz and PR experts how to create your own “Power Pie” or dream team. We will discuss how the perfect ingredient combination of purpose,passion, promotion and people results in the sweet taste of success.


Ariel Hyatt – Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR / writer of Music Success in Nine Weeks

Deborah Crooks – Performing/recording Artist, Writer, Catalyst

Jody Gnant – Artist, social media innovator, marketing strategist

Rynda Laurel – Creative Executive, Connector, Business Strategist

Follow us on Twitter~
@cyberpr    @deborahcrooks    @jodyg    @rynda 

Guest Blogger: iMedia: Twitter, Zappos, and the science of happiness…

iMedia: Twitter, Zappos, and the science of happiness…

Twitter, Zappos, and the science of happiness
March 18, 2009

Article Highlights:

  • How does Zappos’ CEO define the key elements of his company’s success?
  • What are the frameworks that will help predict customer, and personal, satisfaction in your business?
  • See what the Twitterati had to say about Hsieh’s ideas and ideals

Is Disneyland still the happiest place on earth? Maybe not.

Enter — a perfect mashup of Virgin branding, early Nordstom customer service policy, and Deepak Chopra ideals wrapped up into a box and shipped to your home (shipped for free of course). The customer is happy, employees are happy, and most of all, Tony Hsieh, CEO of, is ecstatic. Not only did the online clothing e-tailer rake in a cool billion dollars last year, but Hsieh invested in his business even further with what he calls the “Science of Happiness.” This makes him happy on a whole new level.

In his keynote address at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) this week, Hsieh championed the “Science of Happiness” as the secret sauce of Zappos’ success, and a main theme that encompasses his entire business philosophy.

So how does Hsieh explain the way Zappos is marrying financial success with the elusive concept of happiness? And how can other marketers incorporate “happiness” into their campaigns and business models? Hsieh feels that, arguably, the first step is to find out what it is that will make you, and your customers, happy. In his presentation, Hsieh asked the audience to take a step back and think about their goals in life. He asserted that most people are bad at predicting what will make them happy, so they need to start thinking about it in terms of four frameworks: perceived control, perceived progress, connectedness, and vision and meaning.

For Hsieh, happiness in Zappos’ business comes from its vision of owning the three Cs: culture, clothing, and customer service. Already, Zappos is taking control of public perception of the digital commerce model, and making progress in defining just what quality service means in the digital age. Which leaves one key element…

140 characters to happiness
When it comes to connectedness, there are few digital platforms that have been more embraced than Zappos use of Twitter, the pervasive short-messaging service that is reinventing the way consumers and marketers express what’s on their minds — and in their corporate plans. It’s certainly affected the way SXSWi conversations are spreading. While listening to Hsieh’s presentation, it was apparent that in addition to the usual notetakers, there was a flurry of tweeting going on. See for yourself:

Twitter: jongos: Getting ready for Tony Hsieh’s Opening remarks. #zappos #sxswi
Twitter: thesaulter: CEO at Zappos started as a pizza maker in college…awesome. #sxsw #zappos
Twitter: dg: funny…I never heard of zappos before I got on twitter and I haven’t bought anything from them yet #zappos #sxsw

So if the Science of Happiness is helping Zappos find its moral and business compass, and technology like Twitter is helping it to service its customers, how does Hsieh view the marketing process?

Customer service as a marketing tool
It should be obvious that customer service should be a number one priority, but Zappos takes customer service to an extreme, delivering “WOW” through service. Moreover, they have the revenue and return customer to show that it works. In the Zappos world, you can order shoes, or a wallet, or a dress, in multiple sizes and colors, and you can return any of them within 365 days, with free shipping both ways. Oh, and if you have a little problem, just ring customer service and they will take care of you — always. Does this make customers happy? Yes. Will they buy again? Yes. Will they tell your friends? Absolutely. Again, see for yourself:

Twitter: ZackTeibloom: #sxsw #zappos customer service customer service customer service customer service customer service customer
Twitter: KimMoldofsky: RT @amykchulik Great point: “Everything that improves the customer experience is really a marketing expense.” #sxsw #zappos
Twitter: Jackiehuba: Zappos views $ that goes into improving customer experience as marketing $ #sxsw
Twitter: jodyg: “People may not remember what you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” **Tony Hsieh – Zappos #sxsw
Twitter: ralftgehrig: Embarassing: didn’t even know #zappos but they are an amazing customer experience brand.

Are you happy now?
Every day we hear about CEOs of major corporations taking bailout money and flying around on their corporate jets. We hear about them stealing from their employees and their customers. It is refreshing to hear a CEO discuss his company with excitement and commitment to the customer and the employee. And just as refreshing to see ideas like his catching on with the marketing Twitterati.

Twitter: joemescher: #sxsw, #zappos, #Austin, and Tony Hsieh are all top trends on twitter today (social media mavens unite!).
Twitter: jwphillips: Keynote winding down. Fantastic preso. Tony Hsieh is the man, and seriously knows how to run a company the right way. I dig. #sxsw #zappos
Twitter: sxswguide: btw, #zappos keynote was amazing. I like that happiness is explicitly a focus for values and culture sxsw (@mjpizz)

Zappos is walking the path of happiness right to the bank, and it all started with one step — in a shoe, in the right size.