Denver

my schedule

My schedule is pretty flexible: 7 to 5:30 most days.

Monday busy from 10:30 to 11:30.
Tuesday busy from 7 to 9 and 4 to 5:30.
Wednesday busy from 4:00 to 5:30.
Thursday busy from 8 to 9:00, 10:30 to 11:30 and 4:00 to 5:30.
Friday generally free.

Nexus5 Unlimited talk/text/data for $45 per month (seriously)

You could also call this "Free Nexus5 if you switch from AT&T or Verizon." Here's a comparison of the plans and how I arrived at the idea of "Free" Nexus 5.

Item Verizon StraightTalk
Phone purchase price Subsidized $200 every 2 years No subsidy
Monthly cost for 2 lines $190 $90
Minutes included 1400 Unlimited
Text included 500 Unlimited
Data Unlimited originally, switched to 2GB for the same rate Unlimited (2.5GB cap, after that 3G service)

This chart shows how much money both of these plans cost. I used a MotoX as the subsidized phone since it is similar in specs to the Nexus 5.

Comparison of Verizon and StraightTalk plans for 2 years

For our 2-phone-household, we had been spending $4,658 in a 2 year cycle compared to our annual of $2858. Both of those numbers feel pretty high, but at least with StraightTalk we're saving $1,800 in a 2 year cycle. Source data for that chart is in this spreadsheet

Let me say that again: $1,800 savings in a 2 year cycle! We could actually buy a new Nexus phone (or similar) every year and still save money compared to Verizon.

Enter the Nexus 5 and StraightTalk

Why I Love working at CARD.com

For the past 1 year, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day I've been working at CARD.com. I love it. I've had a lot of great jobs in my career so far, but this is one that is truly extraordinary.

I'm currently pretty enthusiastic about a set of quotes from Jeff Bezos compiled at fool.com, so I'm sprinkling some of those through this post.

What is CARD.com doing?

Our CEO put it like this in a recent interview he gave:

CARD.com is the world’s first likeable financial company. We make payments fun, fair and fashionable. CARD.com offers Visa cards and MasterCard cards featuring card art and amazing perks from the best brands in the world, like Star Trek, Elvis or The Walking Dead.

And...that's a good description of what we do. But, what do I think we're doing that is exceptional?

  • We're using a ton of open source software and contributing back where we can. That just warms my heart :)
  • We're doing everything with an eye towards scalability. We have a lot of card designs and many more are coming. Some of our designs are big and some are small. We still want to delight the people with a "small" brand because to them that brand is their life.
  • Bezos said "Your margin is my opportunity." and we're following that. We aren't aiming to be the cheapest provider, but we are undercutting a lot of other providers with what we believe is a much better product. That will help us scale and as we scale big we win. It feels great to provide a product that is competitive with other options available to our typical cardholder.
  • Since we're scaling big, we sweat the small stuff. We review contracts to see how we can squeeze pennies or fractions of pennies out of different transactions.

how (not) to market a branded debit card in a retail outlet

I noticed this at a Rite-Aid store I was visiting yesterday:

Full retail store display of prepaid debit cards

Location of Nascar branded debit cards

Let's say you wanted to introduce a new NASCAR branded debit card and test if people like it as much as they do other kinds of cards. Would you try it:

  1. In Denver?
  2. At the bottom of the display?

I wouldn't do either.

Lost: The Drinking Game

We started watching the tv-show lost a while ago on netflix streaming. This is great because we can watch episodes back to back which gets rid of the anxiety over what will happen "next week."

We found a few occurrences that were uncommon enough that they could be used as a pretty decent game.

  • If Jack or Kate cries, drink a sip
  • If Sawyer cries drink the whole bottle
  • If someone says "Don't tell me what I can't do" drink a sip
  • If someone gets knocked out with a rifle (or anything) drink a sip
  • If Sayid says "Now why would I do that" drink a sip

Career update: Director Security Services at Acquia

I recently accepted a position as an employee at Acquia. I have been "my own boss" since about 2006. I had a brief stint as a part-time employee at a company that has now ceased operations, but for the most part I've been the "owner" of GVS.

Thoughts on GVS

I founded GVS with a few goals. I wanted a company that mirrored open source values of do-ocracy and collaborative decision making. In part this was to make it easy for us to hire community rock-stars and have them feel right at home. In reality that didn't work perfectly though it worked pretty darn well. In part this was because I don't really like being a "manager" and wanted to have an empowered independent team. That mostly worked :)

GVS has had a ton of amazing clients and projects. Some of my personal highlights I'm most proud of are the work on Economist.com, California Closets, and the Drupalcon Chicago site which really helped push forward the COD platform. Not everything turned out perfectly. We had our fair share of mistakes but I think in the end we at least were honest and did our best to deliver what we promised and what the client wanted.

One of the real highlights was that working at GVS allowed me to take a 9 month long trip through Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru with my wonderful wife. We visited 30+ wineries, drastically improved our Spanish, and had an amazing time. I've asked every employer I worked for to support me in doing that and none really did. Working for myself I could do that. Of course, it was a lot of work to make that a reality. I had to be aggressive about accepting certain clients that would be flexible with me while I was abroad and on flakey internet connections. I also used that time strategically by investing much more than normal in my community work which has had long term marketing benefits.

Ice Cream Denver: Menus, Photos, Reviews, Locations

I haven't written nearly as much on this site in the last year or two in part because I "blog" less and in part because I'm just doing it in more specialized places. I realized that by writing about all sorts of different things on knaddison.com I was creating 1 site with no focus when instead I could create 12 sites each with singular focus. The latter form is, of course, more useful to readers.

Here's an introduction for one site Nikki and I have been working on that we really enjoy: Ice Cream Denver.

Denver Ice Cream Review & Photo blog

Nikki loves Ice Cream. I don't mind it ;) And especially with our little daughter we were looking for a new project that would be a fun weekend errand. We started the site in September of 2010 and immediately posted a bunch of store locations. Shortly after we started posting photos of the various shops.

A few of my favorites:

Chalk Board Menus

Chalk board menus are common in the restaurant industry and definitely deliver a cutesy feeling at ice cream shops. For liks south it's painted on and cutesy, but not so practical (in spite of their hundreds of flavors). At sweet action it seems purely practical: they are often adding and removing items from their menu. Menus are a popular item on the site, so popular I created a listing page.

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