Nick Swinmurn, Zappos

Force yourself to stay focused, says Nick Swinmurn

After an unsuccessful hunt to find a pair of shoes the right size, Nick Swinmurn was inspired in 1999 to set up Zappos, an online shoe-retailing business.

Start-up Stories


  • Turnover: $1bn (2008)
  • Number of employees: More than 1,400
  • HQ location: Henderson, Nevada, USA
  • Year founded: 1999
  • Ownership: Acquired by Amazon in 2009

By 2007 the company's revenues had grown to more than $800m.

The firm was acquired by Amazon in 2009. Nick Swinmurn's latest venture is Dethrone, which sells clothing online.

Key advice

You must force yourself to stay focused on your idea - don't let yourself get distracted, he says.

"The key is being scrappy. It's the guys that they see an idea and they don't know how they're going do it but they're going to try everything and just fight and claw and keep adapting, keep trying things."

More on This Story

Start-up Stories

More Business stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.