The Albany Business Review Named Us One of the Best Places to Work for 2018!

The Albany Business Review recently named us one of their 2018 Best Places to Work award for small companies. That announcement was back in October, and today they published a short interview with my business partner Greg (behind a paywall unfortunately). The tone was intended to be pretty light/goofy, here’s an excerpt: Using one word, sum up your company’s culture. Busylaxed. A made up word that means staying busy but in a relaxed atmosphere. What is your team’s superpower? Cranking out orders! Our team can… Continue reading

12/7/18

Working From Home This Black Friday

We’re anticipating that this Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be our biggest and busiest ever. Unlike every single previous year though, I’m working from home on Friday and Monday, as are my partners. This is a really big step for us. It was just last Black Friday that I wrote: If there’s one thing we don’t have down to a science, it’s staffing. It seems that every year we have less people than we expect, which puts extra pressure on those who are working…. Continue reading

11/23/18

Using Twitter for Our Weather Delay Notifications

This morning I awoke to a pretty sizable winter storm, especially for the middle of November. Due to the warmish weather we’ve had recently, the 8-10 inches of snow that we received felt more like 8-10 inches of sleet. It was heavy and wet to move, and the roads were not great this morning. I’ve advocated in the past for employers to be smarter about days like today. Unless you’re a doctor or a police officer or some other job that’s critical to society, stay… Continue reading

11/16/18

Why I’ve Started Upgrading My Phone and Laptop Warranties

I mentioned in my last post that one of the reasons that I chose the Lenovo X1 Carbon over my preferred choice of a MacBook was the 3-year next-day onsite service. Here’s what that warranty provides that’s key for me: If an issue cannot be resolved by phone, Lenovo will dispatch a certified technician to attempt repair of your machine at your location with no shipping involved. This service provides parts and labor repair coverage where labor is provided onsite at your place of business…. Continue reading

11/6/18

Nazi Hunters, Burger Robots, and Xbox Hacking – Link Roundup

Articles ‘Get the Nazi out of New York.’ The secret operation to deport the last living Nazi defendant in the U.S. was a rare success. – these types of deportations are incredibly complex, but extraordinarily admirable and important. Reminds me of the documentary on Netflix The Last Nazis. [The Washington Post] The Young and the Reckless – a group of kids hack Xboxes and Xbox live, sell cheats online, and then get in way too deep. [Wired] The Mission to Build the Ultimate Burger Bot… Continue reading

11/2/18

We Really Have Reached Peak Computer: My Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review

My first laptop was an IBM ThinkPad T20. I purchased it in the Fall of 2000 because it was a requirement for all incoming freshman at RPI to have that specific laptop. Amazingly, that page from 2000 is still online, so I’m able to tell you that I paid $2,700 for a 700 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, and a 12 GB hard drive. It was absolutely life changing. You could literally work anywhere (there were ethernet plugs all throughout campus, this was pre-wifi)…. Continue reading

10/29/18

Now Running On Our New Server Cluster!

Two Saturday’s ago, after a lot of preparation, we migrated Detailed Image to a much-improved server configuration. Thankfully, this wasn’t prompted by any sort of major issue. Rather, in the process of disaster planning we identified a few spots where our redundancy wasn’t as strong as we’d like, the most glaring of which was our server. Since the total chaos of our move in 2008, we’ve been on a dedicated server. We upgraded once in 2011, and that machine lasted us right through this migration…. Continue reading

9/25/18

The Most Devastating Cyberattack in History, HelloFresh is Ruthless, & Library Rules – Link Roundup

The Untold Story of NotPetya, the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History – how Russian hackers modified Ukrainian accounting software to brick any computer networked to it…and how it spread to cause $10 billion in total damages. [Wired] Is Bezos holding Seattle hostage? The cost of being Amazon’s home – “Amazon is very much, ‘We want to save the world too, let’s do it together.’ And then as you get into the details, not so much” [The Guardian] Library Rules: How to make an open office… Continue reading

8/29/18

In-Depth: Overhauling Our Dropship System

Like most online retailers, we don’t stock everything that we sell. Some items, like pressure washers, extractors, and paint thickness gauges are too bulky and/or too pricey for us to stock and ship. In these cases we “dropship” the item, meaning that when the customer orders it we then place an order with the manufacturer to have it shipped direct to the customer. While these orders are a small minority, they’ve been steadily increasing over the years. Our previous system mentioned to customers during checkout… Continue reading

8/27/18

Bad Blood & Business Books I Can’t Put Down

I recently finished reading Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. It’s the now infamous story of the rise and fall of blood testing company Theranos and CEO Elizabeth Holmes. Carreyrou was the original reporter who broke the whole thing wide open a few years ago. Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading. I typically read just before bed, and I had to give myself time cutoffs so I wouldn’t stay up all night. The story is so compelling… Continue reading

8/17/18