June 2010 Archives

Inventory – the Death of e-Commerce Companies, Large and Small

A New Company Let’s take, for example, a brand new company that’s getting into the blue widget business.  For fun, let’s call the owner Carlos. Widgets cost $50, and retail for $100.  For simplicity, we’ll assume that Carlos has to pay in cash up front (which is somewhat common when you just start out), that he orders once per month, and that he receives his inventory immediately (clearly, not very common). Carlos has saved up and he has $5k to start out with, so he… Continue reading


Is Google Ruining Your Life? [Guest Post]

This is a guest post from my good friend Tim, who is a regular commenter on this blog and is in the process of launching a Houston-based daily-deal site called YourYoupon. I am a frequent commenter on Adam’s blog, beyond the blog we’ve become good friends over the last few years and enjoy sharing business stories and other lifestyle/technology concepts we come across.  As the story I’m about to share with you unfolded Adam was the first person I knew I was going to tell… Continue reading


Obscurity is Your Friend

Last month during the Facebook privacy backlash, Jason Fried from 37Signals wrote a great post about Diaspora, the “open source” Facebook that raised $200,000 on Kickstarter before even beginning their project.  They received publicity from mainstream media outlets like the NY Times and the fund raising took off. His argument, one that I agree with, is that Diaspora is taking the wrong approach: Diaspora has all the wrong things at the wrong time. Competition that kills isn’t pre-announced — it catches an unsuspecting incumbent by… Continue reading


Momentum Days

Yesterday was crazy.  We’re in the middle of our largest Detailed Image sale of the summer, 25% off everything for three days.  I was in the middle of moving LockerPulse to a new server (subject of a future post).  We put some new warehouse processes into place.  Mike is back this week.  Oh, and a pigeon got loose in the warehouse.  Luckily we trapped it quickly and released it with relative ease…a diseased rat flying around pooping all over our products would not have been… Continue reading


I Still Listen to CDs and Read Books (and I bet a few other people do too)

I’ve long wanted a Kindle, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I’d easily spend over $300 when you factor in tax and a case. I  buy around one book per month.  At $10/book that’s 30 months before I cover the cost of the Kindle, many more before I break even because I’d still be buying said books on the device.  Then I’d have to worry about charging it, even if the battery life is amazing. I’d also be locked in to Amazon’s… Continue reading


When the Waitress Forgets About You

Picture this.  You walk in to a restaurant.  The hostess seats you.  You look at your menu, decide what you want, and then realize that no one has come over yet to take your drinks.  You wait some more.  At this point, you further realize that you have been forgotten about.  There was some mix up between the hostess and the waitress (or, host and waiter, so as to not gender-discriminate).  Hungry, angry, and a little embarrassed, you have to flag someone down and find… Continue reading


How to Figure Out What to Automate

I think everyone who owns a web business wants to do as little work as possible to make as much money as possible.  That’s pretty obvious right.  Given that we’ve built our cart from scratch, we have the ability to automate just about anything that can be automated.  So why don’t we?  I get that question from time to time, particularly from people who have just caught the internet business bug and think that they can just automate everything, do nothing, and sit back while… Continue reading


My New Laptop

Last month I finally decided to upgrade my laptop. I’d been running the old Toshiba since 2007. At the time it was a powerhouse. It still served me well right up to the end, when a BSOD finally forced my hand. I probably would have upgraded in the next few months anyway. I’d been window shopping for a new laptop for quite some time. What stopped me from pulling the trigger was that I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. First and foremost, I wanted… Continue reading


Lay Bricks

My good friend Adam Gilbert wrote recently on the My Body Tutor blog: When you give it your all every day, not only do you feel awesome for having done so, but you are making progress. And at the end of the day, I’ve never felt better from taking a day off of laying bricks than I have from a hard days work of laying them. Ever. One brick at a time. That’s so true. That article was in the context of dieting and exercising,… Continue reading


How Do You Find Good Partners? Try Before You Buy

One of the most frequent questions I get from people is “how did you meet your partners?”, followed by “what is a good way for me to meet partners?” and “how do I avoid picking the partner from hell?” In my What Startups Are Really Like essay I touched on this a bit: How do you find good partners? When I gave my two presentations at James Madison University, I got this question from both groups. My partners and I were lucky. We all went… Continue reading