Tony Hsieh grew up in San Francisco, the oldest of 3 brothers. After graduating from Harvard, he took his experience in computer science to Oracle, but his entrepreneurial spirit soon won out and he and friends launched LinkExchange, which they then sold to Microsoft to the tune of $265 million.

With the launch of Zappos.com, another online venture notch in his belt, his passion for the downtown Las Vegas area was clinched, and he began persoannly dedicating funds to its revitalization, with the goal of making the area an economic and cultural rival to the neighboring "strip", with the focus of downtown becoming a thriving area for "locals" to live and work. Over 100 properties - and an investment of $350 million - later, countless permanent residents and dozens of business call the area 'home'.

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