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How The Zappos Photo Mystery Was Solved

Published: February 6, 2009

Author: David Rodnitzky


Congrats to Mike Bunnell for solving the mystery client photos – the correct answer was indeed Zappos. Nice try to CalTrainWreak for his attempt to steal away the victory by noting that the answer should really be “Zappos.com” – sorry Cal, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades!

I’m so impressed with the way that Mike solved this that I had to include his reasoning. Personally, I hope that Mike never stalks me – there will be no place to hide!

By the way, the prize for this contest is actually pretty cool – it’s a pass to a soon-t0-be-announced conference, valued at around $600 (details of the conference will be announced on this blog soon, hopefully in the next week, so stay tuned)!

Here’s Mike’s research:

How I figured it out….
Well the first 2 photos told me that this is a young/hip company.
The license plate told me that the company is in Nevada, they have an employee that does SEM, and that employee went to Purdue.
In the last photo, I saw the Birkenstock display at the left, so I knew the had something to do with retailing footwear.
After a couple Google searches around Nevada shoe retailer, I found Zappos’ wikipedia page which said their headquarters are in Nevada.
To seal the deal, I searched LinkedIn for “zappos purdue” which returned one result: Robert Avila, Search Engine Marketer at Zappos.
Thanks again — made me feel like a modern day Sherlock Holmes!

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