Thanks for Taking My Card. Here’s the Greatest Hits.

If you’re here because I handed you a card and you were interested in the URL, then this post is for you. Thanks for your interest and for treating me like a human being. The blog title is a reference to a short story in Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love about a man who hated wasteful and unpleasant effort so much that he made excellent choices and succeeded wildly.

If you’re interested in my professional history and qualifications, you can find them on my LinkedIn page. I am at a crossroads, professionally, so I’m pursuing multiple avenues and allowing my path to be determined by which place hires me first. My current interest is in development and IT, but for an interesting opportunity I’d be happy to look at other occupations.

If you’re interested in a guided tour through my approach to business and problem solving, you can browse some of my favorite posts:

Spending Twenties to Chase Fives – This was early in the life of my custom-written Point of Sale solution, and I was just starting to discover that being able to solve business problems with code could save all kinds of time and money.

Defining Game Store Success, Survival, Failure, and Collapse – The independent game store business is a rough one, with most entrants under-capitalized and completely unprepared. Worse, they sometimes don’t know how bad they’ve got it. I urge my peers to take a hard, honest look at their livelihoods.

Emergency Used Video Game FAQ – In the Fall of 2016 Magic: The Gathering hit a rough patch after several awesome years. Many retailers who had gotten started during the good times were suddenly thinking about diversification. I was a vocal proponent of hybrid business models, and in my not-so-humble opinion I was doing the used video game business better than almost any other single-store independent retailer in the country. I was getting a lot of messages asking questions, so I wrote a FAQ.

Magic would stabilize somewhat in 2017 and most of the surviving retailers were never willing to commit to the business process changes that the crushing volume of used video games demands. I did end up getting a couple of messages years later from retailers who told me that I saved their businesses with this post and my trade show presentations on diversification. That was neat.

Stop Closing Early (You Must Be Present to Win) – I know that this sounds ridiculous, but one of the chief controversies in retailer groups that month was whether it was okay to close your store early if you wanted to go home. I argue that there are costs greater than one day’s lost revenue for retailers who don’t treat their business like a business.

Variable Trade Value (Fair Payouts, Great Stuff) – This automated trade-in value algorithm was the cornerstone of my entire business and can be fairly blamed for the lion’s share of my current modest success. I explained it here hoping that POS/e-commerce providers serving the industry would equip video game and collectible card game stores to do likewise. Several did through implementation of user-defined rules, but to my knowledge nobody copied the implementation directly, despite its superior robustness and simplicity.

Self-Deception and Breakfast in Your Bathrooms – This is a ridiculous post that highlighted my rage at otherwise-competent retailers who could never nail down the processes and documented procedures to prevent awfulness in their stores. At trade shows after this post I wasn’t approached as “the guy who knows video game diversification” but as “the guy who ate a chicken sandwich on his bathroom floor for a blog post.”

Snowflake Store Ownership – In response to an organized effort by the more-toxic elements of our local playerbase to normalize their despicable behavior, I abandoned efforts to be a store for every type of person and doubled down on decency. This was a turning point for our store and our community became much more amazing in the final two years of my ownership.

Point of Sale: You Need a Hot Inventory Process – Most retailers in the game trade do inventory once a year, if that, and they do it in the most painful way possible. Again, I’m mostly talking to software developers serving the industry here, but the ability to do inventory while the store is open is a game-changer for an industry with so many SKUs.

Famous Last Words – In which I announce the sale of my business and beg for a job.

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