The last time I blogged about Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, he was on The Colbert Report discussing his recently published book. This time around, Hsieh is profiled in the New York Times regarding his efforts to revive downtown Las Vegas as a community for startups, officially called The Downtown Project:
“Nevertheless, the Downtown Project is hoping to draw 10,000 “upwardly mobile, innovative professionals” to the area in the next five years. And according to Hsieh, he and his team receive requests for seed money from dozens of people every week. In return, the Downtown Project asks not just for a stake in the companies but also for these entrepreneurs to live and work in downtown Las Vegas. (They’re also expected to give back to the community and hand over contacts for future recruits.) In expectation of all these newcomers, the project has already set up at least 30 real estate companies, bought more than 15 buildings and broken ground on 16 construction projects. “
It’s exciting to see Hsieh emerge as a leader in a Bloomberg-esque way, laying out a community AND cooperative business environment. Personally, I am not sure if I could live and work in Las Vegas given the extreme summer heat. I’ve only been to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronic Show held annually every January. But given the low cost of living and favorable tax environment, maybe I’ll change my mind one day. Hsieh’s efforts certainly sound ambitious, but hopefully will be successful for not only entrepreneurs but also the Las Vegas community at large.
[Image courtesy of The New York Times.]