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Tony Hsieh’s Theory of Serendipity

Stashed in: Networking, Vegas, Baby!, Networking, Networking, @zappos, How To Be A Super Connector

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The notion of serendipity is so ingrained in the Downtown Project’s philosophy that everyone laughs.

Serendipity – random connections among people and ideas – is one of the core experiences that Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos and head of the Downtown Project, wants to create in Las Vegas.

You do that by increasing population density and building places where people can interact.

“Research has shown that most innovation actually happens from something outside your industry being applied to your own. And those are the results of random conversations at bars or coffee shops or just when you have collisions with other people,” says Hsieh, citing a book called Triumph of the City.

One of the challenges of the Downtown Project will be to grow the resident population but keep that friendly, open, “unpretentious” community vibe. Because if your neighbors aren’t willing to talk to you, there can be no serendipity.