July 2010 Archives

The Sad End of Bing Cashback

Bing is discontinuing their Bing Cashback program as of tonight at 9 PM PST. The program allowed customers to receive a percentage of their purchase back (anywhere from 2% – 10% usually) if they visited the merchant using Bing’s shopping search. As a consumer, I thought this was an awesome program. I got over $100 back when I bought my new laptop from HP a few months ago. The reason I’m writing a post about it though is because I also loved the program as… Continue reading

7/30/10

My Favorite Non-Detailing Uses for Our Products

It’s no secret that I’m not nearly as in to detailing as my partners are. I enjoy learning about our products and trying them out from time to time, but for the most part I’m more focused on the web stuff and not the car stuff. I have however, come to love using many of our products for non-detailing related purposes in my every day life. Here are my six favorite: 303 Cleaner & Spot Remover – this stuff gets stains out of any fabric. … Continue reading

7/27/10

What Would You Say You Do Here?

That’s one of my all-time favorite lines from Office Space. Cracks me up every time I see it. John C. McGinley delivers it perfectly. What do I do? I get asked that question by a lot of people. I’ve written before that it’s not exactly my favorite thing to talk about, mostly because so few people understand anything beyond “he works with computers”. However, there are plenty of people I associate with who do understand web business and have a pretty good understanding of our… Continue reading

7/23/10

Why Continuous Learning is Important

I think one of the key indicators of whether you chose the right career is your level of passion to continue to learn and evolve as things change. Case in point, for the past month or two Mike and I have been obsessed with learning CSS3 and HTML5, both of which are becoming more and more usable in more and more browsers (see this nifty little chart for a full breakdown). I find myself getting sidetracked at night, hopping back on my computer to see… Continue reading

7/20/10

Too Busy People

One of my least favorite phrases that people use is “I’m too busy for that”. I don’t really believe that any of us are too busy for anything that’s important to us. We all have the same 24x7x365 to work with, and we all have a large say in how we spend it. What you’re really saying (and what other people hear) when you say “I’m too busy” is “I don’t want to”, or “I’m too important for that”. It sends the wrong message to… Continue reading

7/19/10

The Idea Chart

About once every year I find myself re-reading Getting Real, the first book by 37Signals from 2006 about their software development process. There’s so much good stuff in there. I could probably do multiple posts on each chapter. Anyway, one thing that caught my eye when I was flipping through recently was this “idea chart” in Chapter 6 by Derek Sivers, one of the many “experts” they reference throughout the book: Be An Executioner It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of… Continue reading

7/16/10

Chargeback Fraud – Customer Caught Red Handed (Finally!)

Without a doubt the most popular post I’ve written was last years post about chargebacks. Like most retailers, we feel pretty helpless when it comes to chargebacks, and I think that resonates with people.  Since the system at it’s core is very broken, retailers don’t have a whole lot of options.  Any system you put in place to reduce chargeback fraud invariably creates issues for legit customers. Creating new problems for all customers when a very small few are causing the issues, without guaranteeing any… Continue reading

7/13/10

Guess What I Got in the Mail Yesterday?

My Sports Illustrated. They’ve sent it every week since I canceled a few months ago. At the time I wrote: After I picked it up and started flipping through, I began to wonder: would they be better off if they just kept sending me the magazine anyway? It’s no secret that the subscription fees barely cover the cost of printing. The real money is in the ads, and for ads you need eyeballs. Declining subscribers = declining ad revenue. A few people over on the… Continue reading

7/10/10

Work Blitzes

Back in January I wrote about how I planned for 3 productive hours per day when developing. Things were a little different then…I was busier, and there was a little more pressure to get LockerPulse done quickly. These past few weeks things have really calmed down for me, to a level I don’t think I’ve had in a long time (if ever). All of the chaotic stuff from the LockerPulse launch has passed. For a while while Mike was in China we were having tech… Continue reading

7/8/10

How Amazon Exploits the “Mid-Tail”

Last October I wrote a post about how Amazon uses data from sellers like us to gain a competitive advantage. You can pretty much sum up the entire post with this promo image of Amazon’s that I “amended” to reflect our experiences: We’ve since stopped selling on Amazon, but I’ve continued to receive emails about the post. Once such email was from a graduate student, Baojun Jiang of Carnegie Mellon, who was writing a thesis on the topic of topic. I think it’s absolutely awesome… Continue reading

7/6/10