October 2011 Archives

What About Competitors?

Whenever I give a talk to college students, I always get asked about our competitors.  How do we follow what they do?  How do we react to what they do?  What do we do to protect ourselves from them? The answer is pretty simple: we don’t. I’m of the opinion that business do not fail because of anything that their competition does or doesn’t do.  They fail because of what they do or don’t do.  The second you start focusing on your competition is the… Continue reading


How We Make Business Decisions – The CAG Model

I’ve noticed over the years that we’ve become very balanced in our decision making. I think that comes from having a very diverse set of partners. Almost every major decision involves a group discussion in which we discuss the pros and cons of the decision, as well as the priorities of making a decision (sometimes the best business decision is to just leave something alone). And, for the most part, we’ve been successful with this approach. Not like billion dollar successful, but continuous, steady, profitable… Continue reading


Warehouse Heating Problem Solved…3+ Years Later

When we first moved in to our warehouse back in February of 2008 we were less than thrilled with the heating situation. Don’t get me wrong – the place was the perfect size for the perfect price, and to be honest the low cost of operating it is probably one of our biggest assets…but the heating situation still sucked. There were two oil heating units, one for the office and one for the warehouse, both of which looked like they were no less than fifty… Continue reading


Teamwork in Action

I’m writing this on Wednesday morning. Up to this point my work this week hasn’t really resembled what a “normal” workweek looks like for me. At all. I’ve spent the majority of my time in the warehouse helping the guys pack orders (we had a really successful early early holiday sale), answering customer service questions (which spike during big sales like this), and interacting with job candidates for our customer service position. Kind of a far cry from the usual web development and web marketing… Continue reading


Do I Ever Get Bored Running Our Business?

Last week one of the students asked me whether or not I get bored running our company, being that we’ve been in business since 2006 and that entrepreneurs tend to have a lot of ideas. I thought this was a really good question.  I answered that yes, I have gotten bored, but no I am not bored right now. To elaborate: Yes, in the past I have gotten bored.  It’s usually when I’m in between projects, or when I’m working on a project that is… Continue reading


Web Venturing Class Mid-Semester Update

I spent last week down in Harrisonburg, VA at James Madison University, giving my “entrepreneurship as a career choice” talk to two classes and also working with students from the web venturing class that I’m co-teaching. My original plan was to get down to JMU early in the semester to meet all of the students. I thought it would be good to interact face-to-face to form those personal relationships that are hard over Skype and email. Unfortunately, that pesky hurricane happened and I was forced… Continue reading


A Big Deal For Detailed Image

Today we’re really excited to be the featured partner for the launch of Car and Driver Magazine’s Dashboard Deals as well as Road and Track Magazine’s First Look Rewards, their new Groupon-like daily deal programs. I’m traveling this week. More to come on this when I return.