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Tony Hsieh, former visionary and CEO of Zappos.com dies unexpectedly at 46.

“If you want to go fast, go it alone. If you want to go far, go it together.” It’s the quote attached to every outgoing email from 316 Strategy Group. What’s the origin of the quote and what does it have to do with Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of Zappos?

In April of 2010, Joseph Kenney was preparing a speech. He reached out to Tony Hsieh through a general email box at Zappos.com and to Kenney’s surprise he received a response. Kenney asked for Hsieh’s help in crafting a message that would help unite his audience. Hsieh shared his favorite African proverb with Kenney.

“If you want to go fast, go it alone. If you want to go far go it together.”

Kenney delivered his speech and included Hseih’s message. Then Kenney added it to his signature line and every piece of correspondence since.

Kenney’s chance correspondence with Tony Hsieh didn’t end there, though. Kenney and Hseih continued to correspond via email.

“Tony’s kindness and generosity with his time has touched me personally and impacted 316 Strategy Group in immeasurable ways.”  

Kenney and Hseih exchanged emails on a variety of topics over the last ten years including passion, growth, happiness and even branding. Here is an excerpt from a recent email exchange.

Kenney: My question to you Tony is, do you feel it’s necessary to build an idea out or can you think of times in your own business where you ran with something in hopes of “flushing” out the end product? I don’t want this to be a distraction from our daily business yet each one of us knows this “identity” we created has legs.

Hseih: Joseph, I’ve been busy on my “Kindess Tour”. I like to figure things out as we go rather than try to plan everything out, because things never turn out exactly as you expect anyway. I hope this is helpful. If there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know.

Kenney and Hseih exchanged emails as recently as October 22, 2020 where they discussed meeting in person.

Kenney was shocked to learn of Tony’s passing on November 27th. Hsieh, 46, died from injuries sustained in a house fire that occurred in Connecticut while he was visiting family.

Hsieh who at one time was America’s youngest self-made billionaire was well known for his leadership of online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos. He had recently retired after spending 20 years with the company.

Kenney knows better than anyone the impact Hsieh had on the growth of 316 Strategy Group through the years. “The world has lost a visionary and an incredible human being,” Kenney said. “We recognize that not only have we lost a great business mind, we also lost a mentor and a friend.”

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