Would Universal Health Care Encourage Entrepreneurship?

I’ve always thought that the answer to that question is a resounding yes. While I do think that employers have a role in the health, balance, and overall well-being of their employees, it never made sense to me that as an employer I decide my employee’s health care options any more than it would make sense for me to make decisions about their schools, parks, and roads. Nothing about running an e-commerce company makes me qualified for those types of decisions. We provide our employees… Continue reading

10/18/17

My Single-Slide Entrepreneurship Talk

A few months ago I gave a talk to the SUNY Albany Entrepreneurship class that my good friend teaches. We had been discussing previous talks, some of which went better than others. The best ones, we agreed, were interactive and conversational. I had the idea to cut my entire presentation down to one slide, the slide that I typically reserve for questions at the end. So, somewhat nervously, I got up in front of a class of 45 students, briefly introduced myself and then put… Continue reading

10/10/17

Bringing a 1940’s Royal Typewriter Back to Life

A while back I had the idea that it would be cool to have an old typewriter in my office as sort of an homage to how far computing and communication have come in such a short time. My wife mentioned that there was an old one collecting dust at her grandmother’s house. When we expressed interest in it she was gracious enough to give it to us. Last year I spent a few hours on a Saturday cleaning it up and learning how it… Continue reading

10/3/17

We Still Need to Teach Basic Computer Skills in the Age of Chromebooks and Peak Smartphone

I was lucky that both my high school and college were well equipped to train an aspiring engineer. From the time I was a 13 year old freshman I had exposure to all sorts of equipment that most people don’t, from welding to lathes to CNC machines and a wide array of computers and electrical components. My classmates and I could apply the theory that we learned in the classroom, and we graduated as better engineers because of it. But, this technology wasn’t available to… Continue reading

9/26/17

Bringing Clarity to Our Guaranteed Shipping Options

In 2014 we made a big improvement to our shipping offerings by guaranteeing 3 day or less delivery to the 48 states at Ground rates. After launching USPS we learned pretty quickly that while Priority and First Class Package Service often arrive in 3 days or less, they often also don’t, and estimated delivery dates are not guaranteed by the USPS. We therefore decided to only guarantee FedEx services (and by guarantee, we mean we’ll refund the cost of shipping if the package doesn’t arrive… Continue reading

9/19/17

Angie’s List’s Deceiving Subject Lines Aren’t Worth It

As a homeowner, I find Angie’s List to be a valuable resource when I’m looking for a contractor and don’t have a solid referral. It was well worth paying for when it was a paid service, and it’s certainly worth signing up for now that it’s free. However, when I think of Angie’s List the first thing I think of isn’t the quality of the service or even Angie herself (who I very much enjoyed learning about on the How I Built This podcast). Nope,… Continue reading

9/12/17

Extreme Commuting, SB Nation’s Unpaid Workers, & Documentary Recommendations – Link Roundup

Articles Medical Journals Have a Fake News Problem – open access is a good idea, publishing anything and everything without peer review is not. [Businessweek] The Day I Found Out My Life Was Hanging By a Thread – a tech CEO goes to the doctor with back pain and is diagnosed with advanced terminal cancer. A reminder of our mortality. [Wired] How SB Nation Profits Off An Army Of Exploited Workers – a very important piece about the lines between volunteer, contractor, and illegally underpaid… Continue reading

9/8/17

Maybe E-Commerce Subscription Boxes Aren’t Such a Great Business Model After All

A few years ago there was a huge trend around e-commerce subscription boxes like Birchbox, Quarterly, and the like. It seemed like the perfect business model: why put in all the effort to get a customer for a single transaction when you can get ongoing revenue each week/month/quarter? If you just get x subscribers paying $y per month you’re all set! I can’t tell you how many times this was pitched to us, especially by our shipping reps. I almost felt like the implication was… Continue reading

8/30/17

6 More Great Podcasts I Recently Started Listening To

Even with the 6 new podcasts I started listening to earlier this year, my queue recently started getting a little thin. A lot of my favorite podcasts take the summer off or release a bit less often. I’ve also been trying to apply “hell yeah or no” to my episode selection, so if something doesn’t excite me or sound interesting I’ve been skipping it. So I went scouring for some new and interesting podcasts to subscribe to. To my surprise, I found a few new… Continue reading

8/23/17

We’re on the Inc 5000 for the Third Straight Year!

Today the Inc 5000 came out and we are #3613, up over 500 places from last year! The letter we received from Inc noted that less than 1 in 5 companies make the list three times, yet alone three straight years. This consistent growth is one of the things that I’m most proud of. I think I summed up my thoughts well when we made it last year: I think making back-to-back lists is a testament to the quality of the organization that we’ve built…. Continue reading

8/16/17