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

Fatherhood & Running a Business

Over the winter I became a dad for the first time. It has, to put it mildly, been a challenge to balance running the business with fatherhood and the rest of life. I’ve been intending to write a post about this for a while. I don’t have any “answers” per se, but I do have a bunch of thoughts that I decide to group together and share… As someone who values sleep and correlates performance to sleep, it has been difficult to get enough rest… Continue reading

8/15/17

How to Handle a Good Employee Leaving

We recently had a really good employee leave us for a better opportunity. I think most businesses botch almost all aspects of an employee leaving, to the detriment of the employee, other employees, and the company in general. This was our first opportunity to show that isn’t the case with us, and I think overall we did a pretty good job. It seems like the last few weeks of a job often suck for the employee leaving. Their boss and co-workers resent the person for… Continue reading

8/8/17

Every Business Is a Mess

Sometimes I need to remind myself that you never quite know what goes on inside a business unless you work there. Most businesses, especially good businesses, are still chaotic messes when you get right down to it. There are an incalculable number of moving parts that almost never all function properly at once. We’ve had a very successful few years. I think we have a great culture and have done a solid job of putting good systems in place. And yet, almost every day there’s… Continue reading

8/1/17

Decision Fatigue & Why I Do My Most Important Work First

The concept of decision fatigue gained popularity in 2011 with an article in the New York Times Magazine. Essentially, our willpower decreases throughout the day as we make all sorts of large and small decisions. Lifehacker did a good job of summing it up at the time: Each decision you make and the more choices you make throughout the day, the harder it gets for your brain to continue to make decisions. The result is that towards the end of the day when you’re low… Continue reading

7/25/17