10.20.15: The Point of Vanishing & Zappos' Office Experiment

Oct 20, 2015

Thoreau wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately.” His two years spent in solitude at Walden Pond left an indelible mark on the national psyche – and cemented the relationship between the inner self and the outdoors. Today, a writer reflects on two years in a cabin in the Vermont woods. Then, first we get rid of all the bosses!  We check in on the online retailer, Zappos, six months after their radical shift – getting rid of managers and declaring a self-organizing workforce. 

Listen to the full show. 

The Point of Vanishing

Five years after a freak accident left him without sight in one eye, Howard Axelrod retreated to a cabin in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. We spoke to him about The Point of Vanishing, his memoir of living in solitude for almost two years.

Women and the Woods

From fairy tales to horror movies, bad things tend to happen to young women who wander into the woods alone – and those dangers are often true of the rest of the world too.  Kyle Norris brings us the story of one woman who has every reason to fear the woods – but uses the natural world to help others overcome their fears instead.

Listen to this story again at PRX.org. 

Zappos' Office Experiment

Roger D. Hodge is an author and national editor at the Intercept, and he recently wrote about Zappos in an article for the New Republic, titled “First Let’s Get Rid of All the Bosses”.  He joined us to talk about how an innovative shoe seller company became the petri dish for a massive experiment in workplace culture, and how they’re faring six months after the elimination of middle managers.


Built for Speed

There are some things we see every day, without seeing at all – and these mysterious elements of our everyday world are the subject of one of our favorite podcasts and radio shows, 99% Invisible. Host Roman Mars takes a closer look at an incredibly important, but under appreciated part of the road.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org