Zappos CEO is investing his own money into culture and collisions to rebuild downtown Las Vegas.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is on a mission to reimagine Vegas. He’s moving his company headquarters to a forgotten part of the city and then investing $350million of his own money (which was Amazon’s before they bought Zappos) into real estate, start-ups and education. When I sat down to speak with him over lunch on a recent trip, he explained that he wanted to set new criteria for successful urban redevelopment.

In his redevelopment of downtown Las Vegas, Hsieh hopes to create architecture, community and education spaces that encourage people to bump into each other, to connect and for new ideas to blossom. The goal is to design spaces that provide the maximum potential collisions per square foot – he has even taken this theory and applied it to his current offices. At Zappos headquarters Hsieh has closed the exits and shortcuts to the parking lot and forced everyone to walk through the same front door entrance – thus encouraging the serendipitous meeting of people – and hopefully new ideas will spring from this.

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