ザッポスの野望:ラスベガスダウンタウン再生計画

11月13日14日と、北米でも有数のサステイナブル系のメディア、Greenbiz主催のカンファレンス「VERGE」がサンフランシスコで開催され、一部が無料でストリーミングされました。今回のテーマは「都市、町、コミュニティ」。多くの人が住むアーバンエリアがサステイナブルに発展しなければ、真のサステイナビリティは達成できない、ということからのテーマとなったようです。

<a href=”https://www.interactiongreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/400px-tony_hsieh.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-470″ title=”400px-Tony_hsieh” alt=”” src=”https://www.interactiongreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/400px-tony_hsieh.jpg?w=200″ width=”200″ height=”300″ /></a>

<a href=”http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2012/11/14/verge-day-2-city-as-startup-platform-organism?page=0%2C0″>14日のトップバッターとして、急成長を遂げたオンライン靴小売のZappos(ザッポス)のトニー・シェイCEOが登壇</a>。

Tony Hsieh(トニー・シェイ)氏は成功した若い起業家で、1999年に創設されたZapposの前身に2000年ごろから資本を入れ始め、売り上げを飛躍的に伸ばしてきました。オンラインショップでありながら、顧客サービスに力を入れ、ファンとリピーターを増やし、最小限の広告費、最大限の口コミ効果を後ろ盾に順調に成長。アマゾンに買収されるまでになっています。(<a href=”http://p.booklog.jp/book/35928″>そのユニークな経営哲学や、普通では考えられないような顧客サービスの理念と内容も、ぜひご参考ください</a>)

シェイ氏は、2013年に予定されているZappos本社のラスベガス移転にともなうラスベガスダウンタウンの再生プロジェクトについてプレゼンしました。普通「開発、再開発」というと商業施設やスポーツ施設の誘致などを思い浮かべますが、Zapposがラスベガスで達成しようとしているのは、ビルや施設などのハードウェアではなく、Zapposの企業理念でもある Collision, Community, Co-learningを達成する場所としての「街」。Collideとは「接触」という意味ですから、ポテンシャルを持った様々な人たちがぶつかりあい、集い、学びあう機会を高めてくれる場所としての「街」をつくりだすことを標榜しているのです。
<a href=”http://downtownproject.com/”>http://downtownproject.com/</a>

シェイ氏は、ROI(Return on investment)ならぬROC(Return of community)を追求し、ポテンシャルを持った人たちの有機的な集合体である「街」に投資すれば、企業にもコミュニティにもベネフィットが生まれるはずであるといいます。もちろんZapposの投資先も、Collision, Community, Co-learningを達成してくれるようなプロジェクトやお店。「接触」するためには、オフィス、街中、人が集まる場所、などあらゆるところで、間仕切りを取り払い、ある程度の人口密度を確保することが必要になってきます。ともに学んでいきたいと思えるような人々がラスベガスに集まるようにしむけ、接触がたくさんおこるような密度で接触の場所を提供してくれる、そういうプロジェクトにZapposは投資しようとしているということです。それによって、Serendipityが生まれるのだ、とトニー氏は繰り返していました。Serendipityとは、「思いがけない発見」といった意味ですので、ポテンシャルを持った人と人が接触することで、1+1が3にも4にもなるような新しいアイディアがどんどん生まれてくる状態を想定しているのでしょう。

また、このプロジェクトは、あえてSNSやネットメディアに頼りすぎず、むしろ意図的にアナログな人と人の「接触」に重きを置いているとのこと。

Zapposの成長のようなダイナミズムでラスベガスの街が変わっていくとしたら、今後ここからいろいろなおもしろいことが生まれてくることでしょう。

<span style=”color: #999999;”>写真:台湾系アメリカ人のトニー・シェイ氏は、新しい世代の起業家として、時代の顔とも言える活躍で注目を集めています。</span>

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