Recognizing Superior Execution and Achievement in Ecommerce

Dec 8, 2020

One of my favorite activities at the former CenturyLink Field, now Lumen Field, is to travel down memory lane while reading the names of the members of the Seahawks Ring of Honor.  As a resident of the Pacific Northwest since before the Seahawks played their first game, I have many fond memories of Kenny Easley’s hits; Jacob Green and Cortez Kennedy’s sacks; and Steve Largent’s catches, often of Dave Krieg’s passes.  Each member of the ring earned the recognition through effort and achievement on the field.

Football is an amazing game, but in my opinion, it is not the ultimate competitive sport. The ultimate competitive sport from my perspective is and has always been business.  No field of play requires more knowledge, experience, vision, and skill to achieve excellence month over month, year over year, and decade over decade.  Sadly, the Ecommerce community lost one of its Hall of Fame performers recently with the death of Tony Hsieh(

For those unfamiliar with Tony Hsieh, he was the former Zappos CEO who revolutionized online retail and business practices in many ways.  One of Mr. Hsieh’s contributions to the Ecommerce landscape that is now commonplace was his decision to offer his products, shoes, with free shipping and free returns, when other online vendors were still problem solving how to engage with customers that needed to try on products to finalize the purchase with confidence.  In addition, recognizing that engagement via telephone was the best way for an Ecommerce company to connect with their customers, he developed a corporate culture where customer service representatives were encouraged to listen and stay on the telephone employing a menu of solutions until customer satisfaction was achieved.  Early executive leadership recognition that the road to achievement in Ecommerce was repeat customers who enjoyed the experience, not one-time sales.  A customer service fanatic, management guru, and best selling author (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh (, Mr. Hsieh strongly believed in creating quality, rewarding American jobs electing to keep his call centers in America despite an economic incentive to use cheaper overseas labor.   He also used creative management tools like offering recent hires a month’s pays to quit to ensure people were working for him because they wanted to be there making a contribution and not just for short term financial benefit.  A prudent perspective, as any management executive knows, the cost of training successive people for a position greatly exceeds the expense of retaining quality employees.

Success of the business model under Mr. Hsieh’s executive leadership quantified by increasing revenues, profits, and high customer satisfaction a lucrative M&A exit strategy was executed in 2009 when Zappos was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion.

Tony Hsieh’s story, although tragically short, is a demonstration of what is possible with the correct combination of vision, experience, knowledge, and business acumen.  It is a story that IBA, as a market leading sell side representation business brokerage firm for privately held Ecommerce and technology companies, has witnessed numerous times as a firm with its corporate headquarters nestled within a couple of miles from major office locations for Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

Our technology and Ecommerce sector transaction team features a group of professional intermediaries with comprehensive knowledge of the market dynamics that result in publicly trading companies buying smaller businesses to obtain market share, product diversification, or new intellectual property or technological systems.  In addition to having an established, proprietary buyer database of high net worth E and technology entrepreneurs and privately held companies interested in migrating from the collaborative, corporate boardroom to taking command of the helm of their own ships as business owners through acquisition in pursuit of economic achievement and executive control or growth through acquisition.

If you are a business owner considering the sale of your Ecommerce or technology company in 2021, we would welcome the opportunity to learn about your business and exit strategy objectives.  All communication with IBA is held in strict confidence and 100% of our fees are performance based payable only at transaction completion.  IBA is uniquely qualified to value Ecommerce & technology companies, create a confidential, competitive marketplace for their sale, and successfully facilitate the sale to conclusion for a premium to market transaction value employing best practices.

Finally, similar to Tony Hsieh, IBA believes strongly in superior customer service. As an essential business providing important consultative support to the entrepreneurial community, we welcome the opportunity to meet with clients in person, online, or by telephone.  The sale of a business is a sophisticated, nuanced process. Strong, open communication channels are fundamental to success in mergers & acquisitions.  Please call us Monday – Friday 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. at (425) 454-3052, (503) 739-4880, or (509) 907-9406.  Your call will be received with a smile and professionalism.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, and real estate communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.