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

We’re Back on the Inc. 5000 for the Fourth Consecutive Year!

This morning Inc. released their list of the 5000 fastest growing private US companies and for the fourth straight year we’re on the list. This year we’re ranked #3,778 with 96% three-year growth. A few thoughts beyond what I’ve mentioned in past years: It’s an incredible honor to make these lists and be mentioned alongside so many great companies. Nothing lasts forever so I’m just trying to appreciate it while we’re in the middle of it. This year they included rankings by metro area, and… Continue reading

8/15/18

Android Messages for the Web Is a Game Changer

A few weeks ago when I opened Messages, the text messaging app on my Pixel 2 XL, I was prompted to visit messages.android.com to set up text messaging from my browser. I had missed their announcement, so this came as a pleasant surprise to me. I scanned in a QR code on my phone to set it up and within a minute I had sent my first text message from the web. This is a feature I’ve REALLY wanted for years. Most of the day… Continue reading

7/20/18

Sometimes You Won’t Love Your Job

One thing I’ve noticed anecdotally with many people in the generation younger than me – those who are currently in their early to mid-twenties – is an assumption that work should always be great and fun and rewarding. If it isn’t, something is “wrong” and the solution is to quit and look for a new job or even a new career. It’s a wholly unrealistic expectation, and if it’s not adjusted could set one up for a miserable career. Everyone dislikes their job sometimes. Everyone… Continue reading

7/18/18

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