Tech Disaster Scenario Planning

A few months ago the internet went down at our warehouse. It was in the afternoon, after orders had shipped. Since we’re a business customer, they were able to send out a technician the following afternoon. No big deal – in the meantime we’d use our backup mifi. Except that we hadn’t used it in a long time. The day-pass plan that we had been grandfathered into wasn’t working. Eventually we figured it out, but it took effort from a lot of people to get… Continue reading

6/28/18

We’re #16 on the List of Fastest-Growing Companies in Albany

For the third year in a row we’ve been named to the Albany Business Review’s List of Fastest-Growing Companies (link is behind a paywall). This year we were #16 with 96.31% three-year growth! Last year we were #21 with 48.37% growth, and the year before we were #18 based on five-year growth. What struck me this year when looking at the list was the current number of full-time employees. At 8 we had the second fewest of the 34 companies that submitted that information. Many… Continue reading

6/23/18

Memorial Day Madness – When Systems Get Pushed to the Limit

Typically, I don’t spend a ton of time within our day-to-day operations. More so than anyone else at our company, I’m usually working on developing features that will improve our customer experience and/or save us time and mistakes. Most of the time I’m a few steps ahead, meaning I’m creating/fixing/improving something that’s not quite a problem yet or that we probably don’t need yet, but that we think we will in the future. Having this mentality has largely saved us from ongoing total chaos as… Continue reading

5/30/18

Detailing Day – Yup, We Created Our Own Holiday

In 2011 we started something fun that I realized I have never posted about: we created our own holiday. Why not, right? We’re constantly looking for new promotions to run, and new ways to engage with our customers. So, Detailing Day was born. Like all good holidays, it’s predictably in the same spot on the calendar each year – the Saturday prior to Memorial Day weekend, with the idea being that you’re detailing your car to show off for Memorial Day. There’s almost universally nice… Continue reading

5/25/18

Da Vinci, MLM Scams, and a Maple Syrup Heist – Link Roundup

Articles Thousands of Women Say LuLaRoe’s Legging Empire Is a Scam – can we just make MLM businesses illegal already? [Businessweek] The incredibly frustrating reason there’s no Lyme disease vaccine – as someone who lives in a high tick area and is constantly in fear of getting Lyme, this makes me mad. I would get that vaccine in a heartbeat. [Vox] Lab-Grown Meat Is Getting Cheap Enough For Anyone To Buy – I’m very excited about this! [Fast Company] Palantir Knows Everything About You –… Continue reading

5/8/18

Order Confirmation Pages – Old Navy Needs to Step up Their Game

Order confirmation pages are a semi-regular discussion for us. They’re interesting because there isn’t one universally agreed upon purpose for them. My partners and I will see a unique example and then start discussing ours. Should we upsell the customer into another purchase, or to add to their order? Should we attempt to promote social sharing through something like our Refer a Friend program? Should we provide information about the product(s) ordered to keep them on the site and get them excited for their order?… Continue reading

5/2/18

Is Shark Tank Good or Bad for Aspiring Entrepreneurs?

I was never really a huge fan of Shark Tank until a couple of seasons ago when I had a few people recommend I give it another try. I did, I liked it, and since then it’s been one of the few shows I subscribe to on my DVR. The REWORK podcast recently did an episode entitled Life After Shark Tank that explored three companies who did not have great experiences on the show. In doing so, they discussed a lot of the pros and… Continue reading

4/17/18

Tuning out the Noise, When Not to Finish a Project, and Planning vs Doing

In the comments section of my last post Rob left a comment with some really good questions that I thought were worthy of an entire post. These are all things that I constantly struggle with, which makes them great questions to think about, write about, and discuss: How do you tune out the noise? How do you manage to avoid the Firehose of great ideas from every direction – colleagues, friends, yourself, the internet? There seem to be opportunities around every corner. I have a… Continue reading

4/11/18

Free Isn’t Usually Free

Time. It’s our one non-renewable resource. A few years ago I wrote about how a single meeting can derail an entire day, in part because “having a fixed stop time completely changes my approach to the day.” Well, now that I’m a dad that’s been amplified. Every day has a fixed stop time when my daughter gets home from daycare. I have a lot more days where I’m not at my peak too – sometimes it’s a bad night of sleep, or we’ve all got… Continue reading

3/21/18

Talking Your User’s Language

Yesterday I got an email from my local bank about some future changes they’ll be making to their website. One of those changes will be a responsive design. The part that struck me was that a small local bank actually wrote that the new site “will be mobile responsive.” I’m sure internally they referred to the new design as responsive, and that pretty quickly everyone involved learned what a responsive design was. But – do most customers of this local bank have any idea what… Continue reading

3/14/18