Liquid Web Case Study – the Importance of Finding the Right Vendor

Earlier this year I was interviewed by Liquid Web, our hosting company, about our experiences with them for a case study that was released this week. We’ve been with Liquid Web since our big server disaster in 2008. We’ve stayed with them from that initial dedicated server, to another dedicated server, and most recently last year’s move to a server cluster. We also have used their cloud servers for LockerPulse and for our other miscellaneous sites like this blog. There are a ton of options… Continue reading

8/23/19

We’re Back on the Inc. 5000 for the 5th Straight Year!

The Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the US came out this morning, and we made the list for the 5th straight year! This year we moved up to #3368, the highest we’ve been on the list. There are a lot of faster growing companies out there, but I think what’s most impressive about what we’ve done is that we’ve done it for five straight years. According to the letter we received from Inc., this is quite rare: Of the tens of thousands… Continue reading

8/14/19

Responding to Raw Ideas

Ryan Singer, designer and developer at Basecamp, recently released a web-only book entitled Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters. I’ve been working my way through it, and one passage about responding to new product improvements stood out: Responding to raw ideas Our default response to any idea that comes up should be: “Interesting. Maybe some day.” In other words, a very soft “no” that leaves all our options open. We don’t put it in a backlog. We give it space… Continue reading

8/12/19

When Skills Accidentally Get Stuck in Time

One of my goals after I caught up on my programming projects was to brush up on my web development skills, particularly CSS and Javascript. One of the things that tends to happen when you’ve been around for over a decade in a rapidly changing industry is that your skills get “stuck in time” at the point in time when you developed the systems that you’re currently using. Our last big redesign for Detailed Image was our responsive redesign in 2013. Shortly before that, we… Continue reading

8/7/19

A Great UI in the Most Unlikely of Places

I recently picked up this Orbit hose timer from Home Depot. I feel like quite often programming little single-purpose devices like these can be quite a pain. But this timer is pleasantly simple: you start the dial at “Set Time” and work your way around. So what you end up with is a very conversational-like programming. You set the time, pick a start time, and then say how long you want it to run for and how often, then move the dial back to “Auto”…. Continue reading

7/5/19

A Video Overview of Our Pick & Pack Process

My business partner Greg was recently interviewed by The Rag Company at our newly renovated warehouse about our pick and pack process. One of the main components covered is our packing slip route optimization that I wrote about in-depth recently. I wasn’t in the office that day to meet them, but we were very grateful to have the opportunity to host The Rag Company. Their crew did an A+ job with this video and a few other ones. As you can read in the video… Continue reading

7/1/19

We’re up to #14 on the List of Fastest-Growing Companies in Albany

The Albany Business Review released their 2019 list of fastest-growing companies in the Albany area (link behind a paywall), and for the fourth straight year we’re on the list and moving up! This year we’re #14 with $5.18 million in 2018 revenue and three-year revenue growth of 105.97%. Once sales are in the millions, growing 100+% over three years is quite an accomplishment, one that I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to repeat. So as I’m writing this, I’m reflecting on how grateful I… Continue reading

6/28/19

Bootstrapping Inventory Management Gone Right

I recently came across a fantastic presentation called The Resilience of Costco. The entirety is worth clicking through because Costco is a fascinating case study. They are thriving with in-store retail when others are struggling. There are a whole host of reasons why they’re able to do this, from their membership model to their limited SKU selection to their cheap warehouse space, or even how well they compensate their employees. One slide about inventory management really stuck out to me, and it reminded me that… Continue reading

6/25/19

Packing Slip Routing Optimization: How Our Expanded Warehouse Made Our Packing Slips Obsolete & How We Improved Them

We recently completed our warehouse renovation just in time for Memorial Day. I snapped a quick photo of the new space, which you can see we’re already utilizing: The big advantage of this new space is that we have almost 6,000 sq-ft more to dedicate to products. That means we can space products out better and reduce the usage of separate overstock areas. It also keeps the aisles and shelves more organized. Deciding on the new shelving layout and product flow was pretty easy. We… Continue reading

5/30/19

Programming Debt Paid

I’ve been working tirelessly the first half of 2019 because I saw a major goal in sight: for the first time since we launched the Detailed Image shopping cart in 2007, I could be caught up on all of my programming projects. Early in the year I set a goal to accomplish this by Memorial Day, giving me the summer to dial back and relax a bit. This morning I pushed out the code for my last project and hit my goal 10 days early!… Continue reading

5/17/19