Improving My Index Card Method: The Field Notes 56 Week Planner

Running a business in today’s world requires a special type of focus. It’s so easy to get distracted. If you’re not careful, every day can be an endless stream of interruptions from your friends, family, and co-workers manifesting themselves in every format imaginable: phone calls, text messages, emails, app notifications, and good old in-person distractions. One simple routine that I started almost a decade ago has been my most effective tool for keeping focused and on task without feeling overwhelmed (well, most of the time)…. Continue reading

5/25/16

The End Of Paying Your Dues?

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, when I left college in 2004 we were right in the middle of a shift in how a “career” was defined. There was still this prevailing wisdom that you would find an entry level job at a good company, slowly work your way up over the course of decades from junior level to senior level to management. It would take a long time, but in return you got the stability of a steady paycheck, health care, and… Continue reading

5/17/16

The Next Generation

Last week was the final class for the spring semester of Professor Wales’ Entrepreneurship class at SUNY Albany. I made it in to class four times throughout the semester and was able to work closely with the students as they took their venture from idea to reality. In the final class, they presented the results of their ventures as short videos. For many students, this was their presentation in their final class before graduation. After coming out of this last class all I could think… Continue reading

5/10/16

Insert & Update WordPress Blog Posts With This PHP Script

In my last post I mentioned our new promotion system that can “duplicate” a previous promotion by updating the dates, creating a new coupon code or scheduling items to go on sale, and then creating a new newsletter, blog post, landing page, etc. One of the big challenges for me was coming up with the correct way to insert and update new blog posts in WordPress so that we never actually have to log in to WordPress to manage our promotions. We’re able to do… Continue reading

5/9/16

Apple’s Organizational Structure, Keurig’s Environmental Impact, and WeWork’s Utopia – Monthly Link Roundup

I’m trying out something new. Since I’ve mostly stopped posting on Twitter, I’ve decided to start doing a monthly roundup of all of the interesting and thought provoking long-form stories that I’ve read recently. Apple’s Organizational Crossroads – why Apple’s organizational structure is perfect for hardware but a poor fit for their (inevitable?) transition into a services company [Stratechery] Keurig’s New K-Cup Coffee Is Recyclable, but Hardly Green – this habit that’s been adopted in less than a decade is so destructive to the environment… Continue reading

5/6/16

Automation Instead Of Manpower

Last week I launched an interesting internal programming project that I had been working on for a few months. Whenever we run a sale or promotion there are an increasing number of things that need to be created and scheduled: a newsletter, a blog post, a home page banner, sitewide banners, social media posts, etc. All of this was previously organized by Mike in a Google Spreadsheet. If we wanted to run a similar promo to a past sale, at best we could reuse the… Continue reading

4/28/16

Sleep As A Productivity “Tool”

I think that our culture has a warped view of sleep. Jason Fried recently wrote a great post entitled Being tired isn’t a badge of honor. One of my favorite passages is: Your brain is still active at night. It works through matters you can’t address during the day. Don’t you want to wake up with new solutions in your head rather than bags under your eyes? Back in 2008 I wrote a post about productive napping after having read Take a Nap! Change Your… Continue reading

4/19/16

How To: Use Skype On Windows With An Apple iPhone Headset

I’m an Android user but for the life of me I can’t find a better hands free headset than the Apple headset that comes with the iPhone. I’ve tried a variety of highly rated ones over the years and always came back to the Apple as being the most comfortable and best performing. I carry them in my laptop bag so I’ll always have them handy if I need to take a long phone call. Which got me to thinking: could I use them for… Continue reading

4/12/16

The Cognitive Savings Are Why I Really Love Amazon Prime

As a business owner I’m not always a fan of Amazon’s practices, but as a consumer one of the best purchases I make is the $100/year I spend on Amazon Prime. It’s not because of any of the obvious benefits of free 2-day shipping. It’s because of the cognitive savings. The definition of cognition is: conscious mental activities : the activities of thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering It’s those mental activities that I save big on with Amazon Prime. My shopping habits changed when I… Continue reading

4/4/16

Pyramid Schemes, Cheap Cell Phone Surveillance, and Millennials Running Companies – Monthly Link Roundup

I’m trying out something new. Since I’ve mostly stopped posting on Twitter, I’ve decided to start doing a monthly roundup of all of the interesting and thought provoking long-form stories that I’ve read recently. Drew Brees Has a Dream He’d Like to Sell You – with Drew Brees’ help as pitchman, AdvoCare is scamming encouraging people into participating in their pyramid scheme multi-level marketing business. [ESPN The Magazine] What Happens When the Surveillance State Becomes an Affordable Gadget? – apparently for less than $2k you… Continue reading

4/1/16