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

Z.ips.ME 2.0 – Why I Updated Our Dormant Open Source URL Shortener

A Brief History Lesson Back in 2009 I created an open source URL shortener called Z.ips.ME as an alternative to using bit.ly and other services on Twitter. At the time, Twitter counted the characters in a link against your 140 characters, so link shortening was a big deal. I updated it a few times, the last being in April of 2010, and then…nothing. In 2011 Twitter rolled out their t.co URL shortener, minimizing the usefulness of a project like Z.ips.ME. Every link now counts as… Continue reading

6/6/17

6 Great Podcasts I Recently Started Listening To

Last week I updated the list of podcasts that I listen to. In doing so, I realized that list has changed quite a bit since 2014, particularly the last six months or so. Here are some of my new favorites: Daily Tech Headlines – all the day’s tech headlines in less than 10 minutes with Tom Merritt. This is the shorter version of Daily Tech News Show. I find that it’s the perfect quick overview of what’s going on in the tech world with no… Continue reading

5/31/17

Applying “HELL YEAH Or No”

Derek Sivers has a very short, very popular, and very timeless post entitled No “yes.” Either “HELL YEAH!” or “no.” The gist of it is: When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” — then say “no.” Derek discussed this in more detail in this great Tim Ferriss Show podcast if you’re interested in learning more about how he came up with this approach. He does mention that when you’re just starting out… Continue reading

5/23/17

“I Have a Question…”

Towards the end of 2015 we noticed a problem. Too often our employees would interrupt us to ask a question that they could easily find an answer to themselves. This was particularly a problem in our old office – an interruption would often interrupt everyone else because we were so tightly packed. The problem wasn’t exclusive to the office though, the same thing would happen via Skype when someone was working remotely. And to be fair, it wasn’t exclusive to our employees either – sometimes… Continue reading

5/16/17

Building The Detailed Image Brand

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” – 1800’s American merchant John Wanamaker When you’re just starting out with an e-commerce business (or any business really), your marketing focus by necessity is primarily direct response ads like AdWords search where you need to see an immediate ROI or you can’t afford to do it. You need to spend $x and see a direct return of $x + something. That’s how we approached marketing in the… Continue reading

5/9/17

S-Town, Being Lazy, & Grocery Price Wars- Link Roundup

Articles Think like a bronze medalist, not silver – “Instead of comparing up to the next-higher situation, compare down to the next-lower” [Derek Sivers] How Alcohol and Caffeine Helped Create Civilization – Hint: it has to do with water safety, a problem that we rarely think about but that was a very serious threat up until a few hundred years ago [Human Progress] Don’t accelerate your startup – “See once you take the initial check, you’re also inevitably taking on the expectations of exponential growth…. Continue reading

5/2/17

One Technique for Preventing Unnecessary Phone Calls

Last year I wrote about How a Single Meeting Can Derail an Entire Day. As we’ve grown, the semi-legitimate meeting requests have increased significantly. Pure Adapt probably uses hundreds of different products and services to keep our business running, from financial (accounting software, banking, etc) to technical (servers, backup, etc) to shipping (supplies and carriers), and that’s not including all of the suppliers that Detailed Image works with. We’re large enough at this point that most of these companies have assigned a sales rep to… Continue reading

4/25/17

Why Does Amazon Seemingly Not Care About Box Size?

If you’re an Amazon Prime member I bet this has happened to you. You order something small or a combination of small things. The box that you receive is gigantic with a bunch of unnecessary packing material. This happens relatively frequently to me. The protein bars in that picture above I order somewhat regularly. Each and every time the box is a wildly different size, ranging from almost perfect to way off like that one. The more I thought about this, the less it made… Continue reading

4/18/17

Opportunity Cost

One of the concepts that we apply to our decision making almost daily is the idea of opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is defined as: the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. Often times a decision to tackle a new project doesn’t cost us anything monetarily, or the cost is negligible. Examples would be programming a new feature, trying out a new type of promotion, or even picking up a single new product for a product line we already carry…. Continue reading

4/11/17