October 2009 Archives

Always On Call

The flexibility and freedom you have when you run your own company is awesome.  Now that I’ve experienced it for a few years, it’s something I don’t ever want to give up.  But there’s a flip side.  If you are critical to your company’s operations (and let’s be real, if you’re bootstrapping a small business, there’s no way that you aren’t), there’s always that potential that something could go wrong.  It could be anything, and it could be caused by any one of an infinite… Continue reading

10/28/09

My Visit to James Madison University

After a couple of awesome presentations at Skidmore College, I was a bit bummed to hear that Professor Wales, my good friend and teacher of the class, had accepted a position at James Madison University in Virginia.  I had enjoyed going in to speak both semesters and thought that the two of us had a ton of future potential working together to grow young entrepreneurship in upstate New York.  Of course, I also understood that it was a great career move for him and that… Continue reading

10/26/09

Amazon Let’s Us Pay Them to Grow

In my continuing efforts to prepare for the holidays, I’ve spent the last few weeks reviewing and improving our product listings in our Amazon Seller Central account.  We sell on Amazon under the Tastefully Driven name. We list almost everything that’s up on the TD website, but the majority of what we actually sell is either fitness equipment or detailing supplies. I automated a few of the mundane tasks, added new products (which involved building a bridge to easily migrate products from DI to TD… Continue reading

10/18/09

Productivity and Side Projects

As I’m sure you know by now, I’m a huge believer in side projects.  They stimulate the mind, they open up new opportunities, they give you time to express a different type of creativity.  They also have less at stake, so you can build things that don’t have to be profitable right away (or ever).  I use Music-Alerts and Z.ips.ME every single day.  They might not make us much money, but they were well worth the learning experience and the reward of letting other people… Continue reading

10/15/09

My (sort of) Interview with Gary Vaynerchuk

Somewhat frequently I get emails from book publishers wondering if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing their new book on my blog.  Not all of the book reviews I write happen that way, but a lot do.  Lately I’ve sort of backed off agreeing to them.  I don’t get all that much time to read, so when I do I like to read the book of my choice at my own pace, regardless of topic or length, without the pressure of having to finish… Continue reading

10/13/09

Vote With Your Actions

A few months ago I saw the movie Food, Inc.  I’ve become quite obsessed with the food industry the past few years.  I’ve read a bunch of books and watched a bunch of documentaries.  It fascinates me just how broken things are and how negatively that affects the entire population. One of my favorite parts about Food, Inc was at the end of the movie, after revealing just how bad things are, they give you specific steps that you can do to take action.  The… Continue reading

10/10/09

Reality Check on the Role of Business

Shortly after TechCrunch50 this year, Sarah Lacy wrote a post entitled Memo to Start-ups: You’re Supposed to Be Changing the World, Remember? There was a common gripe about the companies launching there: Not enough passion, not enough swinging for the fences, not enough trying to change the world. There were too many people building safe businesses, too many companies just trying to make existing things slightly better, and too many people wanting to be the next Mint.com, not the next Google. Nothing against Mint, but… Continue reading

10/7/09

Understanding Your Target Market…In War

I saw a fantastic piece about General Stanley McChrystal on 60 Minutes this past weekend.  McChrystal is the new commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.  He’s absolutely brilliant.  He is completely changing the approach to winning the war.  He understands that the goal isn’t to beat the Taliban, it’s to free the Afghani people.  Understanding that simple thing changes the fundamental approach to fighting and winning the war.  Instead of being bullies, he has his troops visit towns and become friendly with the people.  He… Continue reading

10/1/09