Fatherhood & Running a Business

Over the winter I became a dad for the first time. It has, to put it mildly, been a challenge to balance running the business with fatherhood and the rest of life. I’ve been intending to write a post about this for a while. I don’t have any “answers” per se, but I do have a bunch of thoughts that I decide to group together and share… As someone who values sleep and correlates performance to sleep, it has been difficult to get enough rest… Continue reading

8/15/17

How to Handle a Good Employee Leaving

We recently had a really good employee leave us for a better opportunity. I think most businesses botch almost all aspects of an employee leaving, to the detriment of the employee, other employees, and the company in general. This was our first opportunity to show that isn’t the case with us, and I think overall we did a pretty good job. It seems like the last few weeks of a job often suck for the employee leaving. Their boss and co-workers resent the person for… Continue reading

8/8/17

Every Business Is a Mess

Sometimes I need to remind myself that you never quite know what goes on inside a business unless you work there. Most businesses, especially good businesses, are still chaotic messes when you get right down to it. There are an incalculable number of moving parts that almost never all function properly at once. We’ve had a very successful few years. I think we have a great culture and have done a solid job of putting good systems in place. And yet, almost every day there’s… Continue reading

8/1/17

Decision Fatigue & Why I Do My Most Important Work First

The concept of decision fatigue gained popularity in 2011 with an article in the New York Times Magazine. Essentially, our willpower decreases throughout the day as we make all sorts of large and small decisions. Lifehacker did a good job of summing it up at the time: Each decision you make and the more choices you make throughout the day, the harder it gets for your brain to continue to make decisions. The result is that towards the end of the day when you’re low… Continue reading

7/25/17

Chargebacks Are Evolving, and It’s Not Getting Better for Online Retailers

Businessweek recently ran the article It’s Easier Than Ever to Dispute a Credit Card Charge, and Retailers Hate It. There were a few particularly interesting nuggets that confirmed some of the things that we’ve suspected were happening: [T]echnology, along with a change in rules by payment networks such as those run by Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., is making that system a bigger headache for merchants, who are often left to eat the cost. Besides automating claims, banks have updated their mobile apps so users… Continue reading

7/18/17

We’re #21 on the Albany Business Review’s 2017 List of Fastest-Growing Companies

We were recently named to The Albany Business Review’s 2017 Fastest-Growing Companies List (list is partially behind a paywall). This is our second straight year on the list. They changed the list a bit this year – it was based upon 3-year growth instead of 5-year growth, and it contained the top 50 local businesses instead of the top 30. Nevertheless, we came in at #21 with 48.37% growth! We tend to fly under the radar compared to other local businesses, which is totally fine… Continue reading

7/11/17

Saying No More Often, Juicero’s Dysfunction, & Plex’s Bold Plan – Link Roundup

Articles Q&A: Melinda Gates on the World’s Missing Data About Women – I really enjoyed this Q&A: There’s a line right at the end of your letter that says, “The future will surprise the pessimists.” Despite the things that people read in the headlines, the world is getting better. Poverty has been cut in half—in half—in 25 years. We talk about the fact that 122 million children are alive because of the malaria vaccine work that’s happened and bed nets getting out there. I travel… Continue reading

7/3/17

“Trading” Your 20’s For Your 30’s

David Heinemeier Hansson recently wrote a post about trickle-down workaholism in startups that got me thinking. I don’t have many career regrets, but if I do have one it’s that I spent most of my twenties working with the mentality that I was overworking myself now so that I wouldn’t have to overwork myself later. I thought I could “trade” my twenties for a more enjoyable thirties (and forties and fifties and so on). I worked 7 days a week, typically very long and very… Continue reading

6/27/17

Turning My Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet Into a Retro Gaming Machine

Back in college my friends and I would pass the time during class by playing classic NES, SNES, and SEGA Genesis games with emulators on our laptops. The recent popularity of the NES Classic Edition has resulted in a revival of classic 8 bit and 16 bit emulation. I’ve long kept emulators on my Android phones (I prefer the ones made by Robert Broglia), but after purchasing my Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet last year I got the idea that I would really enjoy being… Continue reading

6/20/17

Letting Go to Grow: Why Delegating “Ownership” Matters

I accepted my first and only full-time engineering job at Schick with a few months left in my last semester of college. I had done a nine-month internship at the company. But the main reason that I decided to go back without even interviewing anywhere else had nothing to do with my previous experience there. It was my new boss. The department that he ran didn’t exist when I had interned there. He was young, energetic, and extraordinarily intelligent. We hit it off when I… Continue reading

6/13/17