Why Does Amazon Seemingly Not Care About Box Size?

If you’re an Amazon Prime member I bet this has happened to you. You order something small or a combination of small things. The box that you receive is gigantic with a bunch of unnecessary packing material. This happens relatively frequently to me. The protein bars in that picture above I order somewhat regularly. Each and every time the box is a wildly different size, ranging from almost perfect to way off like that one. The more I thought about this, the less it made… Continue reading

4/18/17

Opportunity Cost

One of the concepts that we apply to our decision making almost daily is the idea of opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is defined as: the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. Often times a decision to tackle a new project doesn’t cost us anything monetarily, or the cost is negligible. Examples would be programming a new feature, trying out a new type of promotion, or even picking up a single new product for a product line we already carry…. Continue reading

4/11/17

Repurposing An Old iPad As A Second Monitor

Over the winter we had some major construction done on our house. For a few weeks my office became a staging area for the crew. Before the project started I lowered my standing desk, threw a few tarps over it, and set myself up a temporary work space on a card table in the guest bedroom. I had an old 1080p monitor and keyboard, which I figured would be better ergonomically and for my productivity than working on my laptop. I was correct, but a… Continue reading

4/4/17

Why Starting a Business In College Still Makes So Much Sense

Every once in a while I’ll go back through some of my old posts. Some hold up to the test of time better than others. One of my first posts from November of 2005 that I still love is Why It’s Best to Start a Business Before Your 25th Birthday. Since that time I’ve spent a lot of time in the classroom working with college students, and that’s only reinforced my beliefs. That entire post is still worth a read, but here’s a summary of… Continue reading

3/28/17

Living The Dream

In William B. Irvine’s book on Stoic philosophy there’s a great passage on happiness: Most of us are “living the dream” — living, that is, the dream we once had for ourselves. We might be married to the person we once dreamed of marrying, have the children and job we once dreamed of having, and own the car we once dreamed of buying. But thanks to hedonic adaptation, as soon as we find ourselves living the life of our dreams, we start taking that life… Continue reading

3/21/17

Eliminating Clutter Revisited

Between our warehouse renovation and some recent construction at my house, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning out and reorganizing. In doing so I remembered my eliminating clutter flow chart from 2008. It’s as relevant now as it was then so I thought it was worth resurfacing:

3/14/17

Extending Our Employee Benefits To Warehouse Associates

We recently hired two more warehouse associates, bringing our total team to eleven (five warehouse associates, three salaried employees, and us three owners). We keep our job posting up on our website year-round, although we only open the application form when we’re accepting applicants. Each time we make a few tweaks to the application but for the most part it remains relatively the same. This time though, we added a really important bullet: Long term employees are eligible for health insurance and Simple IRA with… Continue reading

3/7/17

Wikipedia’s Bias, Facebook’s Monetizing Scheme, & Superaging – Link Roundup

Since I no longer post often on Twitter, I’ve decided to do a regular roundup of all of the interesting and thought provoking content that I’ve come across recently. Articles Know Your Enemy: Celebrating 50 Years of the Forever War – a fictional story about a future America where we’ve always been at war [Wired] Is Wikipedia Woke? – how having largely white male editors impacts the types of content in Wikipedia [Businessweek] How to Become a ‘Superager’ – the key to living long might… Continue reading

3/1/17

Warehouse Renovation Complete!

During the last week of 2016 construction wrapped up on our warehouse renovation. It took us a few weeks afterward to complete our rearrange and redesign, but now we’re finally operating at full capacity in the new space! The photo above is a look at the space that we’re currently using for packing and shipping orders. Our total space doubled from around 5,000 sq-ft to around 10,000 sq-ft. For packing and shipping, we’re essentially using the same inventory zone system I detailed in 2010, with… Continue reading

2/21/17

The Technology Sweet Spot

We recently picked up one of the ~$50 Kindle Fire 7″ tablets for use within our warehouse (more on the specific use in future posts). It’s perfect for what it is, a super cheap tablet, but it’s noticeably worse than the Fire HD 8 tablet that I purchased on Black Friday for my personal use for ~$30 more. The screen isn’t very good, the build quality feels quite a bit cheaper, and it’s a step slower. This got me thinking about the sweet spot when… Continue reading

2/14/17