Tech Disaster Scenario Planning

A few months ago the internet went down at our warehouse. It was in the afternoon, after orders had shipped. Since we’re a business customer, they were able to send out a technician the following afternoon. No big deal – in the meantime we’d use our backup mifi. Except that we hadn’t used it in a long time. The day-pass plan that we had been grandfathered into wasn’t working. Eventually we figured it out, but it took effort from a lot of people to get… Continue reading


The Email Wasteland Of Former Employees

Picture this: you shoot an email over to a contact at a company you work closely with. Maybe it’s a vendor or a benefits provider or your landlord. Point is, it’s someone that you have done regular business with for a while and have probably spent a ton of money with. You rely on them, they rely on you. A few days go by and you don’t get a reply from someone who is normally pretty prompt. You think “maybe they’re on vacation or just… Continue reading


Crafting a Team of Great Writers

In Rework, there’s a great essay entitled Hire Great Writers: Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easier to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes.  They know what to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate. Writing is making a comeback all over our society.  Look at how much people email and text-message now rather than talk on the phone. The full value of this didn’t hit me until… Continue reading


4 Rules for Fantastic Internal Email

Internal email (or inter-company email as some people like to call it) is one of those topics that unfortunately seems to get omitted when discussing the keys to creating a successful business. My experience has always been that if it’s done well it can improve productivity and moral drastically. Conversely, if it’s done poorly it can do the exact opposite. I think that this is one area that our current team excels in. For us this is especially important because we’re scattered in various locations…. Continue reading


The Intersection of Technology, Communication, and Culture at Pure Adapt

Yesterday I gave an abbreviated version of my “Entrepreneurship as a Career Choice” talk to the students at James Madison University. We then had a discussion about the pros and cons of starting your own business out of college, and then a brief Q&A. What made it different than the past talks was that I gave it virtually over Skype. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but it went pretty well. The webcam on their end was good enough for me to almost feel… Continue reading


The More Things Change…

I enjoy reading books about the time periods that are at least a few generations back. When I’m reading fiction, I really like fiction that was written a long time ago. When I’m reading non-fiction, I like reading books about historical people and events. One of the main appeals to me is not all of the differences in the people and the times, but all of the similarities. I think that because of the rapid innovation that we’ve had recently we tend to write off… Continue reading


How We Communicate

One of the best arguments against having partners is that you avoid miscommunication.  Not only miscommunication about the simple things (did that order get entered into inventory? did someone de-activate that product we sold out of?), but miscommunication about the grander vision of your company (what are our long term goals and why?).  Over time, by necessity, we’ve come up with a pretty good communication system that works for us. We haven’t had any disagreements yet about the long term vision of the company, but… Continue reading


Micro Blog Security Fix

Ever since I wrote the post a few weeks back about our internal micro blogging system (see Using WordPress to Make a Secure Twitter for Business) I’ve been bothered by the fact that it isn’t really as secure as it should be.  Following the steps I provided, there is still one unprotected RSS feed that – given the URL of your blog – almost anyone can find.  My suggestion when I wrote that post was simply not to give away your URL since it’s an… Continue reading


Using WordPress to Make a Secure Twitter for Business

**Update 9/16.  I’ve fixed the one unprotected feed security issue mentioned below in Step 5.  Please see the Micro Blog Security Fix after reading this post, before attempting to build a similar system.** — We’re growing fast right now, very fast.  It’s exciting stuff.  In 2007 we spent the majority of our time assimilating as a team, determining which projects could drive the most revenue, and looking for a warehouse.  We had a very good year, but 2008 has been a whole new story.  Everyone… Continue reading