Jul 29 2011

WTF Have We Been?


If you’ve come to our site this year looking for advice, tips, and experiences from some of the amazing eCommerce initiatives we’ve been working on lately – you’ve been greeted with the sound of crickets chirping. We’ve surpassed the longest period of time ever without a single blog post, and some have even asked “are you guys still in business”? We’ve all heard the tale of the shoemaker, but I’ll be honest – I’m sick of that story. At the end of the day, every person, company, or group prioritizes what they do and what they don’t do. Shame on the shoemaker for not making his son his #1 priority – he should have had the best shoes in town! In that same vein, we too have priorities and there’s a point at which you need to make tough decisions about what may not make the cut when looking at the supply vs. demand curve.

Unlike the shoemaker, we hold the highest priority with the ones closest to us – our clients. Let’s face it, this website, the blog, social media – they’re all marketing tools that are used to build engagement with our audience, and to drive potential new clients. Over the past year we’ve had the opportunity to build some incredible relationships which have demanded a great deal of our time and attention, to the point that we were no longer able to properly maintain content on the blog. We love talking eCommerce and can write for days about all of the interesting things we’re doing and the results we’re seeing.  But instead of talking, we’re doing.  We’re busy, very busy, helping our clients grow revenue, and every minute we’d spending talking about it we wouldn’t be doing it.  I’m borrowing/adapting a quote from Blake Nordstrom from the Magento Imagine conference earlier this year when he said, “If you’re talking about Customer Service, you’re not doing it.” It’s a very relevant observation.  When faced with the choice of spending a few hours writing a post or a few hours helping a client, there’s one that’s going to win out every single time: our clients.  We’ve sacrificed our own website, content, and marketing to focus on our clients – and in the end, by doing a great job at what we do, it has become a better marketing tool than our website could ever be.

Don’t get me wrong – we are going to get back in the blogging game – and better than ever.  In fact, we’re recruiting for a Marketing Manager to do just that (tell your friends!).  It’s an important part of our business and something we enjoy doing.  So in the absence of anything truly groundbreaking in terms of helping you grow revenue (queue browser tab close), I wanted to take the opportunity to at least share some of the accomplishments of Blue Acorn so far in 2011. There’s been a lot of growth and transition in the company across the board which has kept us on our toes.  We’ve grown from a team of 9 to 22 (with more to come), brought on some great new clients, and most importantly, continued strengthening our relationship with many of our existing clients.   In June we moved into our new office in downtown Charleston (see it evolve from “shell”), benefiting from a central location, regular food trucks, neighboring other technology startups, and being in an environment that reflects and enables the culture of our practice.  This has allowed many to adopt alternative forms of transportation like busing, walking or biking to the office – someday you can thank us for saving the environment (we’re green!  no…  we’re blue) and further our goal of making this one of the best places to work in Charleston.

We’ve had the opportunity to work on several exciting projects, partner with some innovative teams, and really found the work that we’re engaged with very rewarding.  For a period of time, we stopped taking on new projects altogether, as managing our internal pipeline is a delicate balancing act.  In the midst of all this, both myself and Ben Marks (our Director of Development Services) got heavily involved with the folks at Magento for their MagentoU training program.  So if you want to learn how to develop (or theme) on Magento, join Ben at an upcoming training session in a city near you (in the US and Europe).  Or, if you’re a marketer looking to leverage the Magento platform to grow sales, you may draw the lucky straw with one of the web-based classes I instruct.  Working closely with the Magento Education & Training team, we’ve had the opportunity to become an active participant in growing the Magento ecosystem through educating and training the community.

In Q3 of this year (next week actually), we’re embarking on transitioning our project management system from Basecamp to AtTask – an enterprise grade platform that is going to allow us to build strong processes and methodologies around.  This transition doesn’t come easily, as our entire business runs on this system and is in many regards our backbone.  Why we’ve decided to switch platforms is a long story, but ultimately we needed a more robust tool to support a stronger business and allows us to improve communication with our clients.  All of these changes – personnel, office, system, clients, partners – have positioned us to scale effectively and further improve the quality of our service offering to our clients.  We’ve come out of this transition period stronger, smarter, and better equipped to handle the evolving needs that the world of eCommerce presents to us and our clients.

We’re excited about what’s to come for Blue Acorn, and we’ve come out of a whirlwind of change alive and better than ever.  Expect to hear more “from the trenches” stories in our daily dealings with eCommerce – until then!


Kevin Eichelberger

Founder & CEO

Founded in 2008, Blue Acorn is the product of Kevin’s great passion and knowledge of all things eCommerce. Kevin’s data-driven approach has culminated in a strong, growing business that’s success is closely tied to the success of its clients. When he’s not immersing himself in eCommerce, Kevin works toward expanding Charleston’s tech community by serving as a board member for the Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation, and is also a mentor and advisor to several startups. A business-savvy technologist, you can find Kevin evangelizing about data, optimization and eCommerce.

9 Comments

Roy Rubin
Jul 29 2011

Kevin – really great to hear of your growth and success. Congrats from the Magento Team!

Roy

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Erica
Jul 30 2011

It sounds like you’ve been busy! Congrats on the new office space and all the big transitions (especially those blue walls!). It’s good to the blog updated. I can’t wait to read more soon. 🙂

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Jason
Aug 01 2011

Congrats Kevin, Ben and the rest of the Blue Acorn team on your progress. Good things happen to good people.

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Dan Augustine
Aug 02 2011

Congrats Kevin, glad to hear you guys are growing quickly and got a full pipeline! Mark & I plan on coming up and visiting y’all soon up in Charleston. Keep up the good work!

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Ben Woodard
Aug 06 2011

I was just in your new office building the other day and it is looking great. Congrats on the developments.

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Turnkeye.com
Sep 12 2011

Agree. Customers are #1 priority.

We wish you all the best in your work.

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Ingrid
Sep 29 2011

Way to go Kevin! I’m very happy for you and your team. The new office looks amazing!

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Bruce Turner
Oct 10 2011

Congrats on the amazing growth Kevin, it couldn’t happen to a nicer, nor more talented group of guys!

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David Woo
Mar 16 2012

Congrats to your team! We are thinking of going with Magento for an upcoming update of our site, it looks very promising! 🙂

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