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“Delivering Happiness”… The Inspiration of Tony Hsieh at One River


I was shocked and saddened when I learned of Tony Hsieh’s death this weekend. While I never met Tony, I watched him share his stories about Zappos over the years and viewed him as an artist whose medium was building people centric business experiences. In 2010, I read Tony Hsieh’s book called “Delivering Happiness” and it hit home on so many levels.

The root of it was centered around a philosophy of combining “passion & purpose” and at that time, I was at a professional crossroads that provided me some time to think and reimagine what I wanted to do. I had recently left my job as CEO of School of Rock and I was nearly 50 years old. Tony’s stories helped me frame what I wanted to do: “transform art education”. Creating and building One River School  was the outgrowth of this process.

At the center of One River lies our people and I believe that we have succeeded in making One River a different place to work that helps us to attract passionate, caring and hard-working creative talent. This helps us “teach through the lens of living artists” and strive for two goals: “have fun & create compelling outcomes”. We have just finished our 8th full year and our platform continues to be rooted in these basics.

Inevitably, delivering happiness at One River is about helping people become the fullest version of themselves. Tony Hsieh helped do that for me.