April 2009 Archives

T Minus 1 Week to Launch

As you may have noticed, I’ve been posting less and less lately as we get close to launching the new Detailed Image.  Short of an unexpected disaster, we’re planning to roll out the new site next Friday, May 1, around 6 AM Eastern Time.  Until then, I’ll be on a hiatus from blogging as we scramble to wrap everything up and do sufficient QC testing.  I’m thoroughly impressed with how well everything came together.  We all worked extra hard to manage the additional day to… Continue reading

4/23/09

Do Consumers Expect too Much?

A while back I signed up for a KODAK Gallery Account to view a friends photos.  Otherwise though, I’ve never used it.  Then the other day there was an email in my inbox entitled “Important: From the Gallery’s General Manager‏”. Curious, I opened it. In part, it read (bolding is my emphasis): Let’s put the issue right on the table: nobody likes paying for something that they thought was free. I recently received some strong responses from Gallery customers after we asked them to make… Continue reading

4/19/09

Celebrating Our Success

In this day and age, where nothing is easy, we’ve accomplished a great deal as a business over the past few years.  Last month we hit several milestones sooner than we had anticipated.  One of the things I love about our company is that whenever we’re at a meeting and we’re discussing something big that we’ve done, there’s always talk of how and when we’re going to celebrate. Last night we went to dinner at a “trendy” wine bar in Albany.  It was possibly the… Continue reading

4/16/09

Pure Adapt Featured on the AMEX Plum Site

About a year ago I wrote a post about how cool the American Express Plum Card is for small businesses.  I also posted a picture of how the Pure Adapt card was shown among many others on their website at the time: After my subsequent post about how we saved $1k in FedEx charges with the Plum, AMEX contacted us and asked if they could feature the content of the post in their new online marketing campaign.  We didn’t know exactly what to expect, but… Continue reading

4/14/09

Unique Uses for IVR Systems

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that everyone dislikes IVR phone systems.  When you call a company you want to talk to a real person, not be led through a bunch of menus that don’t answer your question…especially when you have to speak your answers and the system can’t interpret what you’re saying (or you’re in a public place and don’t want to look like a jackass).  However, in the past few weeks I’ve had two really positive experiences with IVR systems used… Continue reading

4/10/09

Where to Get Support as a YE

Dale left a comment on my post yesterday that reminded me how tough it is to find support as a young entrepreneur.  No matter where you live or what you do, the majority of people around you don’t run a business.  Most of them have never even considered it.  That makes it hard for them to relate to you and to support what you’re doing, even if they want to.  It took a while, but I have what I feel is an A+ support group… Continue reading

4/8/09

Caring More About Your Business than Yourself

This is sort of an addendum to the last post from a little while ago. Running a business also teaches you a selflessness that translates great to other aspects of life.  Not paying yourself so that you can expand.  Taking less pay so that you can hire an employee.  Living with your parents or in a crappy apartment to save money.  Donating your tax return back to the company instead of spending it on yourself.  Taking care of a customer because it’s the right thing… Continue reading

4/7/09

Entrepreneurship is a Life Question

Jim Collins, author of one of my favorite business books, Good to Great:  Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, was interviewed in the 30th Anniversary Issue of Inc. Magazine last month.   The entire article is a good read, but one question in particular stood out to me: How do you define entrepreneurship? I take a broad view of it. The traditional definition — founding an entity designed to make money — is too narrow for me. I see entrepreneurship as more of… Continue reading

4/7/09

Getting close…

We turned a major corner this month.  While I had my head in the sand focusing on wrapping up programming for our new cart, we had our largest revenue month…by a cool 33% more than our previous best!  I didn’t even realize it until George read the revenue number out loud the other day and my jaw dropped.  What’s encouraging about this is: We did it in a month that wasn’t during the holidays or the peak auto detailing season. We were able to keep… Continue reading

4/2/09

Does Location Matter? Why Albany is Perfect for Us

A few weeks back Penelope Trunk wrote a really interesting article about deciding where to locate your start-up, entitled Starting a company in Silicon Valley is stupid.  Clearly from the title of the post, she isn’t one of those people that preaches that you have to be in the Valley or in NYC to run a successful start-up.  She herself moved from NYC to Madison, Wisconsin to start her new company, simply because the cost of living was low and the quality of life was… Continue reading

4/1/09