Chip Conley creates joyful hotels, where he hopes his employees, customers and investors alike can realize their full potential. His books share that philosophy with the wider world.

Why you should listen

In 1987, at the age of 26 and seeking a little "joy of life," Chip Conley founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality by transforming a small motel in San Francisco’s seedy Tenderloin district into the now-legendary Phoenix. Today, Joie de Vivre operates nearly 40 unique hotels across California, each built on an innovative design formula that inspires guests to experience an "identity refreshment" during their visits.

During the dotcom bust in 2001, Conley found himself in the self-help section of the bookstore, where he became reacquainted with one of the most famous theories of human behavior -- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which separates human desires into five ascending levels, from base needs such as eating to the highest goal of self-actualization, characterized by the full realization and achievement of one’s potential. Influenced by Maslow's pyramid, Conley revamped his business model to focus on the intangible, higher needs of his company's three main constituencies -- employees, customers and investors. He credits this shift for helping Joie de Vivre triple its annual revenues between 2001 and 2008.

Conley has written three books, including his most recent, PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, and is at work on two new ones, Emotional Equations and PEAK Leadership. He consults widely on transformative enterprises, corporate social responsibility and creative business development. He traveled to Bhutan last year to study its Gross National Happiness index, the country's unique method of measuring success and its citizens' quality of life. 

What others say

"Chip Conley is that rare breed of CEO who possesses both a brilliant business mind and a very big heart. He’s a true role model for anyone who wants to lead." — Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco

Chip Conley’s TED talks

Chip Conley on the TED Blog

Business

Measuring what makes life worthwhile: Chip Conley on TED.com

June 21, 2010

When the dotcom bubble burst, hotelier Chip Conley went in search of a business model based on happiness. In an old friendship with an employee and in the wisdom of a Buddhist king, he learned that success comes from what you count. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 17:40) Watch Chip […]

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Quotes from Chip Conley

[The King of Bhutan] was suggesting that the intangible of happiness is something we should measure, and it’s something that we should actually value as government officials.
Chip Conley
TED2010 • 1.9M views Jun 2010
Inspiring, Persuasive
Many dictionaries define ‘pursuit’ as to ‘chase with hostility.’ Do we pursue happiness with hostility?
Chip Conley
TED2010 • 1.9M views Jun 2010
Inspiring, Persuasive