It's about Zappos' warehouse, containing 750,000 SKUs of shoes, constantly changing:
"Zappos experimented with various taxonomies and organizational systems, but none of them scaled. New shoes came in and old shoes went out, seasons changed and so did styles."
"The shoes are placed randomly on the shelves." and "When it comes time to pick-and-pack, the computers tell the warehouse staff where to go".
Herewith added to the library of indications that tree-structures are a thing of the past.
But, hang on a second - does this not remind you of Object Oriented Databases vs. Relational Databases? Guess what we're using! And while you're at it, guess what run your business system does not bother much with hierarchies and taxonomy! </blatant advertising>
To quote Chris Anderson again:
"One of the things that struck me most about Zappos was the way it organizes its massive warehouse. It doesn't."