Monday, February 23, 2015

I Built Something

This past Black Friday, I bought my mom a gift that I knew she'd love. Because I got it during Black Friday, I was able to save about $50. I was pretty hype until USPS decided to make my life harder.

I got the package delivered to my Philly apartment figuring it would get delivered a few times then I could just pick it up at the post office. This didn't happen because I never received the "we tried to reach you" piece of paper that you would normally see after a failed delivery attempt. Since I never got this, the package was sent back to Best Buy and I had to eventually pay full price to repurchase the item. That whole sequence of events was a pain.

Fast forward a month or so, I changed my online banking password for the New Year. As you would expect, I forgot the it. I thought I would simply email myself an updated password, but with banking security, you have to have a physical password sent to make the change. I did this, but because the delivery person was new, I didn't receive the package for four weeks. During that waiting time, my account was overdrawn three times from automatic payments that I couldn't cancel. That sucked, too.

If you add up just these two incidents (there were at least five in the last year) my missed deliveries cost me about $150 and a few hours on the phone getting pissed off at any customer service person who was unlucky enough to speak with me. After I had some time to regroup, I started searching for answers. In doing so, I found out that just about everyone has had this same issue. There had to be a better way....

Fast forward another month or so and I couldn't find a local solution, so I built one. About two weeks ago, I decided to build an on demand package delivery service. Today, I'm happy to announce that it's ready to use.

The product is called Fishbox and it's an on demand package delivery service. Simply use the Fishbox address as your shipping address and once we receive the package, we'll notify you via text message. You have the option to select curbside pickup for free (we will actually bring the package out to you while you stay warm in your car) or you can skip the curbside and have us drop off the package for a small fee at your home at any time that you'd like. We will even send you a link where you can see where we are with your package in real time. We won't hit you with the Comcast "we will be there between  3-6pm" only for them to show up at 7 while you and your family are eating dinner. We operate on your time and we are super transparent in everything from our hours, deliveries and even our pricing.

If you're interested, check us out. I'm excited to see what the future holds.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Almost Perfect Harmony Podcast w/ Me as a Guest

Had a great time with my good friend, Aaron, and his wife Alex on their podcast. Check it out below!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Apps I Use to Get Things Done

Getting things done (or GTD for short) was a big deal for a while. The concept revolved around using technology to make your life easier. I was a download fiend back when I first got put on Firefox and I've turned into a minimalist since. Check out my latest list below. It would be cool if I did this every year:

  • Evernote - I started small with this. Just a few notes here and there, then a few recipes and before I knew it, I was drinking the green Kool-Aid. I use it for project management now and it's dope. 
  • Dropbox - I just started paying for the premium plan. $9.99/month for 1TB suits me.
  • Mailbox - Triage email at its finest. Hooking it up w/Dropbox takes its value to another level.
  • Wunderlist - I looked at the others like Any.Do, Todoist, Asana, Producteev and even the native iOS one. This was the one that fit my needs. The power is in the way you can view upcoming todo's and the fact that this app has native Windows/Mac apps and a nice Chrome/Safari extension. 
  • Pocket - I read A LOT of things online. I don't always have time to read when I find the article so I can use this to save it for later.
  • Spotify - I signed up through Sprint and got 6 months free. After that, I pay $7.99 month for access to all the music I'll ever need. No brainer.
  • Google Maps (iOS) - Apple Maps sucks. Google will always be my go-to here.
  • Fitbit - I am in the digital marketing field. That means I sit on my ass a lot. This helps me stay encouraged to do stuff.
  • Seamless - I order out A LOT. I'm working on cutting back for 2015, but in the mean time, this gets me through.
  • Uber - When I'm not driving, this is how I get around. I may switch to Lyft soon if they don't get their act together, though.
  • Fitstar - Where Fitbit tells me that I need to move around, this is the app that actually tells me what to do. I have the premium subscription and it's perfect for a quick morning workout before work.
  • Google Analytics (iOS) - I check this every day to see how my web properties are doing. Must have for any digital marketer.
  • 1Password - My favorite new app by far. Within a few weeks, I've changed just about all my passwords. I have about 30 logins in this thing, all 100% unique and hard as hell to guess.
  • TechCrunch - I love news on startups. I have others, but this one gets the most love.
  • Mint - I am just getting back on this. One of my goals for 2015 is to get my finances back in order. This will help.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Year of Learning

I'm late to the game for New Year's resolutions. That was on purpose for a few reasons:

  • I was hesitant to share....mostly because I didn't want to look silly if I didn't come through
  • I sometimes have commitment issues. What happens when I have a better idea?
  • I just didn't have anything cool enough to commit to.
Commitment and accountability are two areas where I've improved, however, I'm nowhere near where I need to be yet. Where I have improved, it's mostly because I've gotten better at saying no to things. There is real power there and if I had to commit to anything this year, it would be to saying no to even more things. I'll write a post on that at some other time. 

As far as that last bullet point, I've struggled with what I consider taking a step back and taking a step forward. I read this the other day. It's a post about a guy who wants to write about minorities (re: both gender and race) in the tech space, but he just can't find any good ones to focus on. Yea, someone can easily respond by saying he just isn't looking hard enough, but the fact that effort has to be exerted to find a person is a problem of its own. Why should one search "hard enough" to find someone that speaks intelligently about coding? I can be that guy that he writes about next year and I want to make it cool to to be that guy.

I stumbled on SEO by accident about 6-7 years ago. I was a curious dude and I always have been. It's not the most technical of fields, but it does require a basic understanding of the way code and marketing work together. I think deep down inside I always wanted to write code, but I just didn't have anyone to do it with back then. All my friends were playing sports, collecting cards and racing dirt bikes. So, naturally, that's what I did also. It wasn't until years later (and through my love for video games) that I realized that I was a little different. I'm cool with that.

I'll be 33 in less than a month and I still struggle with what I want to be. One thing is for sure, though. I want to learn to write computer code and I want to dedicate 2015 to learning that. Even just writing that felt good. I feel like a kid going back to college.

While I know this won't be easy, it'll be fun. I've already started OneMonth and Codecademy. I'm going through the HTML/CSS stuff now (that stuff is prob not even 101 at this point in the game) and I plan on moving on to Ruby and Javascript. 

I plan on tracking my journey here, but I feel that I had to put that energy out in the world for it to be real. Let's see how far I've come by the time that ball drops again.