Today’s Show Recap
Thanks for listening to Makin’ It. On this week’s episode, we talk about Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone’s mounting legal problems, the Los Angeles billion dollar vineyard for sale, our Makin’ It Success Stories profile series continues featuring Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, and finally on Makin’ It or Breakin’ It, tipping in 2016. Let us know what you think of the show in the comments section at the bottom of the page!
Let’s get down to business!
Tommy, Todd and Brittany get started with a discussion on Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone’s growing legal problems. At 93 years old, Redstone’s family is starting to fight for their inheritance by filing a number of lawsuits that have prompted other family members to sue back. Redstone’s former long-term companion is one of the ones suing to get some of his $40 billion, and his family is trying to stop her. However, in doing so, they brought a lawsuit upon themselves for having private conversations to set her up to not get the money.
Additionally, there were grandchildren who were disinherited by the trust. They filed to get reinstated into the will, but the trustees tried to prevent that from happening, until Redstone intervened and fired the trustees. Now, the trustees have filed lawsuits.
When there is this much money involved, people often fight over the inheritance, especially family members. What’s special about Redstone’s case is that he is still alive. They are trying to prove that he is not of sound mind to be making the decisions about his money and have involved the courts. There must be proof of a viable reason for disinheriting, and the courts look at that proof. Video wills come in handy in these types of scenarios to help prove a person is of sound mind when deciding what to do with his money. One thing is certain: when you build an empire, you can expect heirs are going to fight over it.
What do you think of Sumner Redstone’s family fighting over his money before he has even passed away? What do you think he should do with his money? Let us know in the comments section.
Next, the hot topic of mansions and real estate. In Beverly Hills, there is a billion-dollar vineyard currently up for sale that has caught the eye of celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. The vineyard was once owned by Merv Griffin as a means to have a bigger home than Aaron Spelling. Griffin was never able to build the home on the land due to zoning and financial difficulties and put the property back on the market. As of today, no one has built a house on the land yet, and it sits in a posh neighborhood of Beverly Hills. What do you think of a vineyard being in the heart of Los Angeles? Tell us what you think in the comments section.
OMG Fact of the Week:
The oldest recipe in existence is for beer.
In our next Makin’ It Success Stories profile, Tommy and Todd talk about Tony Hsieh who is the CEO of Zappos. Hsieh lives in Las Vegas, NV in a 240-square-foot Airstream trailer for 950 dollars a month with two llamas despite having 840 million dollars at his disposal. But is Hsieh purposefully eccentric?
Hsieh, a Harvard graduate, sold his first company, LinkExchange, in his twenties to Microsoft for 265 million dollars. After that, he started a venture capital firm called Venture Frog, which got its name to lure a potential investor. During this time, Hsieh got a voicemail message telling him he should invest in selling shoes online. The fact that 5% of all shoes were sold in mail order got Hsieh’s attention, and he invested. He then became the CEO of the mail order shoe company and built Zappos. In 2001, Zappos made one million dollars. By 2009, they were making one billion and sold to Amazon for 1.2 billion dollars.
But it’s not the shoes that made Zappos so successful. Hsieh’s business model of selling the experience of buying shoes online gets that credit. Hsieh believed that people could buy shoes anywhere, but they couldn’t get the shoe buying experience anywhere. Zappos focuses their attention on customer service and building relationships with their customers. Staff are actually rewarded for who can keep a customer on the phone the longest amount of time. They send cookies and gifts and can deliver most shoes the next day. Hsieh set up shop in Las Vegas because many of the shoe suppliers are located there, enabling him to get customers their purchases quicker than even Amazon, who couldn’t beat him, so they had to buy him.
Hsieh kept 214 million dollars after he sold to Amazon and gave the city of Las Vegas 350 million dollars to renovate an entire neighborhood to bring in tech and innovation to the city. He wants to make the city a place for start-up companies to build.
But what about Hsieh’s eccentricity? Hsieh has been quoted saying money doesn’t buy happiness. However, is it easy for him to say when he has 840 million dollars in the bank? You have to be focused and want to make money in order to become a billionaire, and when you start getting into large sums of money, you have to plan it and strategize it accordingly. It is almost a contradiction in terms because on one hand, people like Hsieh are working hard for their money, but they are saying that they are not. Moreover, saying money doesn’t bring happiness doesn’t take away the security and power and recognition that comes from acquiring that money. But could it be that the hardest thing about being wealthy isn’t about the money or keeping it but the pressure and guilt of what having that money means? So, perhaps Hsieh chooses his lifestyle to fend off the envy of others. What do you think about eccentric billionaires? Do you think they say money can’t buy happiness because they have plenty to go around? Let us know in the comments section.
Tony Hseih found his niche by figuring out how to sell shoes to the world, and it’s how you sell that matters.
Finally, Tommy, Todd and Brittany get down to the Makin’ It or Breakin’ It segment discussing this time what the rules are for tipping in 2016. Where there is a relationship formed with a person providing a service, such as a hair stylist or nail tech, it is best to ensure they are well taken care of to ensure you continue to get good service. But what about when you go to a restaurant for the first time and the service isn’t so great? It is typically best to voice your concern to the manager or the server so the problem can be corrected on the spot. It is also important to note that the server may not be the one responsible for delays, which is why it’s also important to communicate with the staff your displeasure and not take it out directly in the server’s tip. Finally, good tips should not always be expected for mediocre service. Good service gets the tip. What do you think about tipping in restaurants? What do you think about tipping when a relationship has been formed, such as a hair stylist or nail salon tech? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for tuning in to Makin’ It. Let us know what you think of the show and if you have questions about your business, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a comment below. We love to hear from our listeners and we read comments on the air. We just might choose yours for next week’s show (so don’t forget to tune in!).
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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs:
To learn more about Tony Hsieh, check out his book here.
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