April 2008 Archives

Is it Really a Sacrifice?

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else. -Ralph Waldo Emerson The word sacrifice is often associated with entrepreneurs. Young business owners like myself often get peppered with questions about making less money or living with their parents or spending less time at the bar with friends, all in the name of their company. As you get older you usually have to deal with paying a mortgage, balancing a marriage, and spending time with… Continue reading

4/28/08

How NOT to Fix Your Shipping Mistake

Like most companies we use our business credit cards quite a bit. In turn, we get quite a few rewards points which result in all sorts of gift certificates. A little over a month ago we got a $40 gift certificate to NFLShop.com. No one else really wanted it, and there was a DVD for $39.99 that I did want, so my partners were nice enough to let me use it. I placed the order and when it arrived it was the wrong DVD. Freeze… Continue reading

4/26/08

What You’ve Been Missing on the TD Lifestyle Blog

One of the more challenging aspects for us with Tastefully Driven so far has been managing the Lifestyle Blog.  Being that it’s a group blog it can take on a different life than individual blogs like this one or the one I run over on SportsLizard.  Both of those blogs have my personality infused into them and I think one of the reasons that they “work” is because there is a consistent voice.  With TD, in one sense it’s tougher because you have different writing… Continue reading

4/23/08

My Top 10 Favorite Tastefully Driven Features

Since the launch of Tastefully Driven I’ve been intending to do a post similar to the DI Features and Lessons Learned. But since this project had less “unknowns” there weren’t a lot of “lessons learned” from the programming side. We knew what we needed to do, and it was more about execution than figuring out a way to get stuff to work. Nonetheless, there’s still a lot of cool stuff on TD that isn’t completely obvious if you just scan the site for a few… Continue reading

4/22/08

The Difference Between Being 20 and 25

Every once in a while I have one of those moments where I say to myself  “holy crap, I can’t believe this – I’m 25 years old and my partners and I run a company.  We’ve built our own e-commerce platform and have our own warehouse, and we did it without giving up any stock or taking any outside money.  I am living my dream.”  It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day crap that I forget that sometimes. Things are… Continue reading

4/20/08

Sell Products? Do This

I’ve said it before, but it amazes me how many online retailers don’t submit their products to Google Base. It’s free, they support a slew of formats (upload products one at a time, upload a spreadsheet, or auto-FTP from your database like we do), and it gets your products shown on Google Base, Google Product Search, and – most importantly – normal Google searches. Take the example below (click to view full size screenshot). When someone searches for Men-U Healthy Face Wash, a product we… Continue reading

4/15/08

Pandora Knows Me Better Than I Do

Sometimes it takes me a while to do things I know I should do. Case in point: in October I read this fascinating feature in Inc. Magazine about Pandora entitled Pandora’s Long Strange Trip: Online radio that’s cool, addictive, free, and-just maybe-a lasting business. Pandora has developed a proprietary method to analyze music–Westergren calls it the music genome–that lets users create online radio stations generated by the software’s recommendations. Tell Pandora your favorite song is “Casey Jones” by the Grateful Dead, and within seconds it… Continue reading

4/15/08

Thoughts on Pricing and Profitability

Last week for the first time we listed our products for sale on Amazon.com. I put up about half of the Tastefully Driven catalog because products must have a US UPC code to be on Amazon and some of our detailing products and supplements do not have UPC codes. The entire process was a complete pain in the ass (at least compared to Google Product Search and Yahoo Shopping) and the whole time I was saying to myself “this is a waste of time and… Continue reading

4/14/08

Downshifting Post-Launch

It’s a weird feeling that I always get around this time. Every single time I’ve launched a new site or project I’ve felt the same thing, best described by a post I wrote back in 2006 just after the launch of iPrioritize: From my limited experience as an entrepreneur, I’ve come to the realization that the day after the launch of a new business or product is a weird one. The initial excitement and relief of the launch has been replaced with a realization that… Continue reading

4/9/08

The Focus of a Tiger

I’ve never been the world’s biggest Tiger Woods fan. I respect him, am in awe of his athletic ability, and admire his work ethic. However, I’ve always thought he came across a bit too ‘rehearsed’ and not ‘real’ enough…kind of like Michael Jordan. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but in sports, business, and in life I tend to look up to people who are a little more transparent and strong in their convictions. All of that said, his interview this week with Scott Van… Continue reading

4/8/08