March 2009 Archives

Why Don’t All News Sites Have This?

The other day I noticed that SportsIllustrated.com has an awesome feature on all of their stories: a bulleted list of “story highlights” in the upper-right hand corner of the page. SI.com is owned by CNN, so CNN also has the same “story highlights”.  I’m actually surprised that more news sites don’t have this feature.  I normally scan 95% of the articles I click on just to pick up the key points that they have so neatly summarized for me up on top.  For most stories,… Continue reading

3/29/09

Consistency = Success = Happiness?

This past week I noticed that the gym was noticeably emptier.  In fact, it’s been getting less and less crowded every week for the past month or so.  This is perfectly normal, because it’s March, and March is just about when everyone who made a New Year’s Resolution to get in shape is starting to give up.  Especially the people who go early in the morning like I do.  They slip back into their bad old habits and find ways to justify doing other things… Continue reading

3/27/09

Officially Addicted to Texter

Did you ever discover a piece of software that is so simple and so useful that it almost seems amazing that it isn’t standard on everyone’s computer?  This past weekend while reading Lifehacker, I saw a reference to a free text-replacement tool called Texter that they created and were hyping up.   After reading all of the positive comments, I decided to take it for a spin. The tool cuts down on keystrokes by replacing a keystroke pattern with a pre-defined string of text.  For… Continue reading

3/26/09

Going Back to My Index Card Method for Daily Goals

About a year ago I ditched my index card method for daily goals in favor of using my task list.   I’ve always had an electronic task list going back to college – first it was in Outlook, then in Thunderbird, then iPrioritize, and now Remember the Milk (only because it integrates with my Pure Adapt Google Start Page).  The problem is, for me, a task list is really something different from daily goals.  Tasks are things like “pay credit card bill” and “check on backups”. … Continue reading

3/24/09

Inventory Considerations for Discontinued Products

This is one of those fun mini business problems that encapsulates all of the uncertainty of running a business.  You could play it right and have a huge advantage over the competition, or play it wrong and waste a ton of time & money. One of our bestselling products is being discontinued and replaced by a similar, yet seemingly better, model (I don’t think I’m technically supposed to disclose what product it is yet, so I won’t…even though it’s leaked all over the internet…).  The… Continue reading

3/23/09

Why The Release of IE8 Matters (to us at least)

Yesterday Microsoft finally released the latest version of the Internet Explorer browser, IE8, which can now be downloaded from Microsoft’s official site.  Hopefully within a few weeks it will get pushed to people via Windows updates and the majority of people using IE7 right now will be upgraded to IE8.  Why do I say hopefully?  Because for us there is one little feature that will drastically increase the quality of the new Detailed Image – CSS table support. Let me explain.   Way back when… Continue reading

3/20/09

How to Know When to Scale

Two business owners. The first hasn’t had their first customer yet.  He has spent countless hours and dollars on market research, developing and re-developing his website and logo, projecting revenues and costs, and developing procedures for future employees.  He wants everything to go perfectly. The second is a seasoned business owner.  He has been in business for years, but over time his workload has increased and his revenue has leveled off.   He is great at closing a sale and great at what he does,… Continue reading

3/15/09

Trimming the Fat

Since we made the decision last week to launch our revamped Detailed Image by early April, I have been programming my brains out.  I’ve probably worked more hours in the last two weeks than I have in any two week stretch since 2007.  While there’s definitely some stress involved with that, there is also a really good by-product of doing it:  being busy forces me to trim out all of the unimportant stuff that I spend my time on. I’ve cut the number of feeds… Continue reading

3/11/09

Finally Found Autoweek!

It took two weeks, but Greg finally hunted down a copy of the Autoweek article where our E-Z Detail Brush was mentioned.  The detailer who scanned us a copy also told us that it is a subscriber-only magazine, which would explain why scouring every Barnes & Noble and Borders in upstate NY was a fruitless effort (special thanks to Adam Gilbert who also checked down in NYC for us). Now that we have the article in an acceptable resolution, we can use it for future… Continue reading

3/9/09

Teamwork

We have a pretty stressful few months ahead of us.  It’s not the same type of stress we had last year when we feared that one wrong move would crush us and eventually decided to not pay ourselves for a few months, but nonetheless it’s still a little more stress than anyone would like. We’ve set up a culture of constant improvement, and because of that we expect a lot out of ourselves.  Like any business owner, we see all sorts of opportunities that we’re… Continue reading

3/7/09