August 2008 Archives

What I Do on the Weekend

No question the most interesting statement from the interview I posted earlier today with Jun Loayza was when he said: “As a young entrepreneur, you will have NO work/life balance. I am very serious about this. If you want to succeed, you need to be working 24/7 every day of the week.” That’s why I wrote such a long response prior to asking my next question: “It’s easy to be happy for a year or two working all day, every day.  In my opinion, it’s… Continue reading

8/27/08

Meet a Fascinating YE – Interview with Jun Loayza

I recently conducted an email interview with fellow young entrepreneur Jun Loayza.  As fellow Brazen Careerist bloggers, we struck up a conversation about a month ago due to our striking similarities.  His answers below give a very candid view of what it is like to start a company right out of college: Adam: You and I are very similar in that we have made the decision to start our own companies and then blog about it. What led you to decide to dedicate yourself to… Continue reading

8/27/08

Using WordPress to Make a Secure Twitter for Business

**Update 9/16.  I’ve fixed the one unprotected feed security issue mentioned below in Step 5.  Please see the Micro Blog Security Fix after reading this post, before attempting to build a similar system.** — We’re growing fast right now, very fast.  It’s exciting stuff.  In 2007 we spent the majority of our time assimilating as a team, determining which projects could drive the most revenue, and looking for a warehouse.  We had a very good year, but 2008 has been a whole new story.  Everyone… Continue reading

8/24/08

You Don’t Have to Worry About That!

Anyone who owns a business like ours has been there. You’ve just met a new group of people and they casually ask what you do for a living.  You give one of a variety of answers, based upon how web-savvy the crowd is and how interested you are in talking about your business at the moment.  They think what you do is really cool and they ask a bunch of nosey-but-well-intended questions. In a way, it gets a bit old.  Of course, in another way… Continue reading

8/18/08

Book Review: bounce! – Failure, Resiliancy, and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success

Back in 2006 when I reviewed Barry Moltz’s first book, You Need to Be a Little Crazy: The Truth About Starting and Growing Your Busines, I said the following: I often say how much I love unique blogs. Well, the same goes for books. Most entrepreneurial books paint pretty pictures of the fantasy land of running a business, which we all know is far from the truth. When I was handed a copy of You Need to Be a Little Crazy: The Truth About Starting… Continue reading

8/16/08

Not a Good Way to Reassure Your Customers

One of the most nerve racking moments when making an online purchase is that moment after you enter your credit card information and hit submit.  It’s the responsibility of the retailer to make it clear that the order is complete by telling the customer so, displaying a receipt, and emailing a receipt.   If something goes wrong, it is also the responsibility of the merchant to notify the customer of what went wrong, reassure them that their card was not charged, and display instructions on… Continue reading

8/15/08

Integrating Customer Reviews into our Cart

Several months back I built an email follow-up system for Detailed Image that sends an email to our customers two weeks after their purchase.  In addition to checking in with them to see if they received their products in a timely manner, it also asks them to write a product review for each product they ordered.  The email provides direct links to the product review pages for the specific products. However, the reviews were intentionally buried a bit on the site.  We wanted to have… Continue reading

8/12/08

The Most Efficient Way to Scale a Process

My college degree is in Industrial Engineering.  Unlike other forms of engineering, IE is focused on process design and improvement and not product design and improvement.  Using this mindset, I spent a considerable amount of time building to scale aspects of SportsLizard before I even launched it back in ’04.  Most of what I did never ended up being applicable to the site…or needed to be tweaked considerably to be useful.  I tried to automate things so that I could handle thousands of transactions a… Continue reading

8/8/08

Do They Do This On Purpose?

I have had a few friends, former co-workers, and former roommates who have gone on to work jobs for the FBI or do defense contracting for private companies.  As part of the interview process an investigator calls basically everyone they have ever associated with and asks a million personal questions that I usually don’t know the answer to (have they ever done drugs?  have they ever had an altercation with a co-worker? are they a patriot who is loyal to the US?  are they easy… Continue reading

8/7/08

Major Music Alerts Efficiency Update

Like anything else, once you get good at programming a large part of your improvement comes in your ability to be more efficient.  Can you get the same results with less code, fewer files, less queries to execute, etc.  If you don’t, any inefficiencies really become magnified as a project scales and your hand gets forced. When I whipped up Music-Alerts over a weekend last fall I really just wanted something that worked for ME.  I didn’t exactly plan it to scale.  I also wasn’t… Continue reading

8/6/08