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Tasks of a fun-gineer: Preparing happiness at Zappos


Emily Wilson/ The New York Times Tyler Williams, the head of experiential marketing for Zappos, in Las Vegas, April 27, 2017. Williams ‘task is to develop activities for the online retailer’s 1,500 workers that keeps them smiling– and loyal to the company.

Monday, Aug. 7, 2017|2 a.m.

Tyler Williams, 33, is the head of experiential marketing for Zappos, an online seller based in Las Vegas.

In the language of Zappos, you’re called a fun-gineer. Why?

Our chief of staff collected the title for me. My task is to bring joy and smiles to Zappos’ 1,500 employees. (Without the hyphen, by the method, I ‘d be a professional of fungis.) For example, I built an instant dance celebration in the business lobby. It works like this: When you press a button with a sign under it that states, “Don’t ever press this button,” lights go on and music roars. My position comes within our brand aura department, which resembles other companies’ brand name marketing departments.

Zappos offers shoes and clothes online. How did you get a task there?

In truth, I did not have work experience associated to anything at Zappos. I ‘d been a professional drummer considering that high school, had developed stages and understood audiovisual technology. I had heard it’s much easier to get accepted to Harvard than to obtain a task at Zappos. I took the innovative path and wrote, starred in and produced a video about the company’s 10 core worths. As soon as hired, my very first task was at the client call center.

That does not sound like an excellent fit for an imaginative type like you. Was it?

Not precisely. But the task I made an application for was filled internally. That made me admire the company for its stability to promote from within. Everybody– even our CEO, Tony Hsieh– has actually worked the customer care lines. After six months, I ended up being a new-employee fitness instructor.

How did that eventually progress into your present position?

Due to the fact that I came in handy with building things, I became known for establishing and executing fun ideas. The turning point was when Tony was preparing to offer a speech for Amazon in his apartment. He had to reveal the video in 3 spaces simultaneously. I understood ways to do that. That’s when a light went on in Jamie Naughton’s head. She’s our chief of staff, and suggested I write my own job description. Jamie began calling me a fun-gineer, and it stuck.

Do you miss out on playing drums?

I handled to develop a musical chance for myself and the numerous other musicians working at Zappos. We established a music stage in the trailer park where a great deal of staff members, including Tony, live. Once a month, artists appear to jam. We call it Outdoors. I don’t miss the life of an artist on the roadway at all, so this is a terrific compromise.

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