Do I HAVE to wear boots to a Bootcamp?

One of my favorite companies in the world – Zappos – is planning a two day Zappos Bootcamp. At first, I got excited because one could never own enough boots, and Zappos certainly has one of the largest inventories of boots in the universe (or at least on Earth). I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to find a great pair of boots and also to find a pair for Chris Detmer (our talented front-end developer), who has a cool hat, as you can see below, but sadly, no boots.

After reading about the bootcamp, I became even more excited because the Zappos bootcamp isn’t about boots at all – it’s an event with a small group of people where Zappos shares its secret sauce for how to create a strong culture at OUR company. Freeki!

It’s been almost a year since I joined crowdSPRING to lead the Customer Service team (reminder: ice-cream anniversary cake would be nice). When I started working at crowdSPRING, our community was 5,000 creatives strong. Now, more than 30,000 awesome and talented creatives from all across the world (150+ countries) work on crowdSPRING. I stopped counting the number of projects that are posted (just kidding – I still love to count!). During the past year, I’ve answered many thousands of customer requests – directly and on Twitter, and my team has handled tens of thousands. I absolutely love working with our customers – and have been thrilled to have met a few in person.

Throughout my time here, I’ve tried to learn as much as I could about culture. I’ve absorbed everything I’ve heard from Zappos and other great companies with awesome cultures. Among many other books, I’ve read the past few Zappos Culture Books and have been so impressed with the awesome people who work at Zappos. I’ve written many posts sharing our views about customer service.

I cannot imagine how a company, or community, can thrive without a great culture. Zappos aims to create happiness. And crowdSPRING fully believes this is the right way to conduct business. I’ve written about this – Helping is Happiness, as has Ross – Happiness Is Helping. Great customer service shouldn’t even feel like customer service, as you’ll hear me say in the following short video:

But my excitement about the Zappos Bootcamp was quickly tempered by two things: Pete kicked my ass at ping-pong and I learned that the Bootcamp costs $5,000. For a startup, that’s about $4,993 more than we can afford. And yet – there is a tiny, little, itsy-bitsy glimmer of hope. A scholarship! Zappos will give two scholarships to its Bootcamp, and I would absolutely love to get one.

I know that chances are extremely thin that Tony Hsieh would be crazy enough to let a Frenchman on board but you never know. So I need your help.

I’ve probably interacted or helped you one way or another during the past year. And I want my team to do an even better job. If you can, please leave a comment telling Tony Hsieh and Zappos why it would be absolutely awesome for them to honor crowdSPRING with one of the scholarships to the Bootcamp. Let them know about our great community and how we’ve worked together through good times and bad (especially during our site problems in May). Let’s show them that great culture can live within a small company and within a large community of people who come from every corner of the world.


Jerome – The French Guy