January 2013 Archives

Our Caching System, Guide Improvements, and the Exciting Next Step

Continuing the theme from Adding To The Foundation [Of Our Cart] and A Better Search Experience on Detailed Image, I recently wrapped up a few more important features. Caching One big opportunity for improvement on any database driven website is caching. Let’s take the example of our sitemap. When someone used to land on that page, it would run a database query to extract the product name and URL of every product on our site. If it’s hypothetically accessed 100x/day, that would have been 100… Continue reading


Why We Still Pay For Health Insurance In Full For Every Employee

Last month I had a dentist appointment. The dental hygienist – who I’ve known for my entire life – was asking me how business was and we eventually got on the topic of health care costs. I mentioned that our plan was being canceled and we had to pick a new plan for 2013. After quite a bit of research we were able to find a pretty good new plan. Of course, it’s still significantly more expensive than the old plan and has significantly worse… Continue reading


A Better Search Experience on Detailed Image

I’ve been chipping away at the next round of improvements to our shopping cart. The past week was one of those really good weeks where I deployed a ton of code. jQuery A precursor to moving forward was to (finally) switch our javascript library from using the outdated script.aculo.us to the more lightweight and more powerful jQuery. This required quite a bit of code to be rewritten, most of it critical to the shopping experience, but it has paid immediate dividends: the site is significantly… Continue reading


An Abject Fear of Failure

I’m currently reading Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football by John U. Bacon. (The book really should be called “Three and Out: How Everyone Involved in Michigan Football Tried to Systematically Sabotage Rich Rodriguez.”) While reading, I highlighted this quote on my Kindle: The best competitors are motivated less by a desire to win than an abject fear of failure. At the highest levels, even one loss diminishes them in some deeply personal way. For them,… Continue reading