1/2003 - As a 20 year old engineering intern, a fellow student and I developed a somewhat innovative new quality testing device. We had the idea to turn it into a business, but the company we worked for wanted to keep it in-house. This is what started the entrepreneurial bug.
7/2004- I spent my summer learning to program, culminating in the launch of a sports collectibles marketplace SportsLizard.com.
12/2004 - Upon graduating Magna Cum Laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Industrial Engineering, I decided to move from NY to CT to take a job with Schick, the razor company. I figured I'd run SportsLizard in my free time.
11/2005 - I started the SportsLizard Entrepreneur Blog, which eventually became the blog that I ran on this site until 2021.
1/2006 - Unsatisfied with my corporate job, anxious to keep up SportsLizard's momentum, I quit my job and moved back to NY.
6/2006 - Half a year into running SportsLizard full time, it failed to grow. I decided to switch directions and launched a web to-do list software called iPrioritize.
10/2006 - iPrioritize got a ton of publicity and a lot of user registrations, but alas didn't make much money due to a poorly set up premium service and the general perception that "web 2.0" services should be free. Capitalizing on that publicity and needing money to avoid going broke and returning to work, I began doing web consulting work.
11/2006 - My sites were growing, as was my consulting business. I was finally profiting enough to support myself.
12/2006 - My consulting work led me to my current partners, whom I knew from high school. George and Greg ran Detailed Image, while Mike ran a site called Chinese Food America. In December, Mike, George and I purchased a now-defunct website together and decided to incorporate our business. Pure Adapt, Inc was born.
2/2007 - Greg and Detailed Image officially became part of Pure Adapt. Splitting our focus between my consulting work and running our sites - primarily Detailed Image - we were profitable in our first month.
4/2007 - SportsLizard's Price Guide Tool made it's debut. While it didn't set the collecting world on fire as we had hoped, it provided a steady revenue stream of premium subscribers.
8/2007 - We began looking for a warehouse for Detailed Image. We thought we had a deal, but it thankfully fell through at the last minute.
9/2007 -Recognizing that Detailed Image needed a total overhaul to grow, we completed months of development on a custom shopping cart platform. Immediately we saw the results we had hoped for. Mistakes were down, efficiency was up, and revenue was way up.
9/2007 - I launched a side project named Music-Alerts, which was a service for tracking album releases for your favorite artists via RSS. It subsequently makes it's way through the blogsphere and becomes much more popular than I had anticipated.
10/2007 - We mistakenly started a new web design service called Faceup-Sites. These clients turned out to be far less profitable than our web marketing and search engine optimization clients that we had previously.
3/2008 - Realizing we spread ourselves too thin, we decided to fire all of our clients and focus solely on growing our e-commerce sites, which at this time consisted of just Detailed Image.
4/2008 - We launched Tastefully Driven using the same e-commerce platform that was successful for Detailed Image. The site was to be a "premium shopping community with a social conscience" where a percentage of profits were to be donated to charity. The community aspect failed, but the site met sales goals and turned over inventory, in large part due to listing our products for sale on Amazon.
6/2008 - We launched one of our coolest features - a system that automatically puts a different Detailed Image item on sale each day for 24 hours only.
10/2008 - I gave a presentation on entrepreneurship as a career choice to students at Skidmore College.
11/2008 - We made our first Commerce with Conscience donation for Tastefully Driven, donating 5% of first year profit to the Regional Foodbank of Northeastern New York.
12/2008 - We had a record-setting holiday season, so much so that our competitors complained about our pricing. For the year, revenue more than doubled in 2008.
1/2009 - We start re-developing our e-commerce platform in an attempt to dominate the auto detailing niche and create a system that can be easily portable to other markets.
6/2009 - We completely re-organized our warehouse, putting the most popular brands on the most prominent shelving units, with the most popular products at eye-level. We then modified our invoices to print out in the order that the products were located. Result - a huge time savings and less errors.
7/2009 - We hired our first employee and he exceeded our expectations!
8/2009 - I launched Z.ips.ME, an open source URL shortener for PHP and MySQL. It was subsequently featured on the popular technology blog Read Write Web.
10/2009 - I traveled to Virginia to give two guest lectures on entrepreneurship as a career choice at James Madison University.
11/2009 - Black Friday and Cyber Monday were even bigger than last year. We had our largest single day of sales on Cyber Monday. November was our largest month in revenue by a good 25%.
1/2010 - In an effort to become more efficient, more scalable, and more profitable, we decided to eliminate several functions of our business. First we closed Tastefully Driven and stopped selling on Amazon, and then we stopped shipping packages to international and APO addresses.
12/2010 - My partner George decided to leave the company. Mike, Greg, and I did our best to pick up the slack and continue to move forward with our plans.
1/2011 - We renewed our warehouse lease for another three years.
3/2011 - After Google contacted us about using LockerPulse in their March Madness promotion, I worked my tail off to add NCAA coverage to our site in five days. The promotion was a huge success, completely worth the effort.
3/2011 - Detailed Image completed its most successful sale ever, breaking our revenue record for a four-day stretch, surpassing Black Friday to Cyber Monday from 2010, and helping March become our largest month of revenue to date.
8/2011 - A chaotic year continued when we were audited by New York State. The good news: we learned a lot and NYS actually ended up owing us money!
9/2011 - We launched a much-needed update to the PureAdapt.com website.
10/2011 - I visited James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA again. This time I not only gave my "Entrepreneurship as a Career Choice" talk, but I also worked hands-on with a group of students that were taking a class called "Web Venturing" that I co-taught.
11/2011 - We completed some major upgrades to our warehouse, including a new heating unit and a new office area.
11/2011 - Cyber Monday was once again a huge success, breaking our single-day revenue record set the previous year.
12/2011 - We made two new full-time hires, Reece & Bobby. We were thrilled to have them join the team!
3/2012 - We shut down the warehouse for a day to help a local soup kitchen move.
5/2012 - After plenty of setbacks, we launched the new LockerPulse. We also learned a lot about HTML5, responsive design, and the latest web trends that we were able to incorporate into the product.
10/2012 - We made the decision to shut down Music-Alerts. I have some great memories of the service, but it was time to move on.
10/2012 - I traveled to NYC for the NY Sports Technology Meetup. I met a ton of great people in the industry, and everyone was thoroughly impressed with LockerPulse.
11/2012 - We destroyed all of our sales records after an extraordinarily successful "Cyber Monday Week."
4/2013 - We launched a new version Detailed Image! It is the basis for what we still use today, headlined by a responsive design. This restored our feeling that our site was one of the best shopping experiences on the web.
7/2013 - We renewed our lease to stay in our warehouse for another 3 years.
7/2013 - To celebrate our success these past few years, we rented a box at a local minor-league baseball game. We invited all of our employees and their significant others.
9/2013 - After our data source decided to shut down, we released a new version of SportsLizard. We considered licensing more data and expanding into other industries, but ultimately settled for a scaled back redesign that works OK but requires little to no maintenance.
1/2014 - Our warehouse had a major flood, which set us back countless hours working on cleanup and the insurance claim.
1/2014 - We adopted a new schedule where the owners only go in once per week. We needed more uninterrupted time to get work done, and our employees had earned the right to run the warehouse.
3/2014 - I (finally) moved this site from Adam-McFarland.net to AdamMcFarland.com!
9/2014 - After years of unsuccessfully trying to build LockerPulse into a highly profitable site, we sold it to SportSpyder after receiving an offer that we couldn't refuse.
9/2014 - Detailed Image celebrated it's 10th anniversary, although I didn't become involved until 2006/7
11/2014 - Just in time for the holiday shopping rush we launched Guest Checkouts, a feature we should have had years ago. The holidays were a success, but the FedEx API crashed on Cyber Monday sending me into a week long spiral of shipping programming to ensure future downtime wouldn't affect us.
1/2015 - Due to a weird zoning quirk, our warehouse is unable to receive USPS mail. After years of trying, we were finally able to ship with the USPS. Our selection of small and light products like pads and towels makes their low-cost options especially important.
3/2015 - In part due to the USPS launch, the final day of our 25% Off Spring Sale was one of our largest sales days ever - bigger than Cyber Monday 2014!
7/2016 - Our Under Armour DETAILER Shirt went viral in the auto detailing community. This was a fun project that we'd been wanting to tackle for a while. We were overwhelmed by the positive response it received.
8/2016- We landed back on the Inc. 5000 with a 3-year growth of 68%!
10/2016 - We began construction to expand our warehouse. We doubled in space, adding a new office and conference room, as well as adding other amenities that we've been getting by without for the past 8 years.
11/2016 - We surprised even ourselves by shattering sales records over the Black Friday - Cyber Monday weekend. The rush associated with hustling to get all of the packages out was a thrill!
12/2016 - I surpassed 1,000 blog posts.
1/2017 - We completed our warehouse renovation. It was a hectic few months but everything turned out great!
3/2017 - We extended our employee benefits to our warehouse associates, something I'm happy that we're able to do, and that as a business we've decided is worth doing.
8/2017 - We were named to the Albany Business Review's 2017 List of Fastest-Growing Companies for the second straight year and we made the Inc 5000 for the third straight year!
1/2018 - It was exhausting, but we successfully migrated Detailed Image to HTTPS.
5/2018 - March, April and May were our busiest sales months in company history. It was a hectic few months, as many of our systems got pushed to their limits.
6/2018 - We were named to the Albany Business Review's 2018 List of Fastest-Growing Companies for the third straight year. This year we were up to #16!
8/2018 - We were back on the Inc. 5000 for the fourth straight year. We were ranked the 11th fastest growing company in the Albany area!
9/2018 - We migrated to a new server cluster. It was a much-needed move, but extraordinarily stressful.
11/2018 - I worked from home on Black Friday, which is a sign of how much responsibility our employees can now handle without our involvement.
12/2018 - The Albany Business Review named us one of the Best Places to Work for 2018, which I think highlights how strong our culture is.
3/2019 - We expanded our warehouse again by adding over 6,500 sq-ft of space for inventory.
5/2019 - I finally caught up on years of backlogged programming projects. For the first time in a long time, I was able to relax, learn some new skills, and explore what's next.
6/2019 - For the fourth straight year we were named to the Albany Business Review's 2019 List of Fastest-Growing Companies. We moved up the list to #14!
10/2019 - A change to the Amazon API finally forced me to shut down SportsLizard after 15 years.
12/2019 - We had a record holiday sales season at the same time that we had a record snow storm, which was quite chaotic.
3/2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic struck. Sales dipped...and then spiked beyond anything we had ever experienced. We had trouble hiring. We spent hours each day watching the news and adjusting our policies accordingly. It was exhausting, but we were grateful to be one of the lucky businesses to survive.
4/2020 - The transition to remote work has been smooth for us, because it was baked into our culture long ago. Whether you're working at home or in the office, it's good management to value output over hours put in, to delegate ownership, to value people's time, to prioritize deep work, and to minimize interruptions.
10/2020 - We announced Notify My Team, our first new venture in over a decade. The idea started as a "pandemic project" - something that we've been meaning to build for ourselves that could act as a form of insurance in case we had to temporarily shut down our warehouse operations.
2/2021 - We launched Notify My Team! The tag line is "The Easiest Way To Reach Your Team With Important Messages: SMS and email notifications delivered with confidence when you really need it. Starting at $9.99/month."
5/2021 - We bumped the starting pay for the pick & pack job in our warehouse from $14/hr to $15/hr (for reference, the New York State minimum wage was $12.50, and the Federal Minimum Wage was $7.25). It's a good starting point for a job like ours that's as entry level as it gets - no degree, certifications, special skills, or experience is required - but also has growth potential.
6/2021 - We upgraded to PayPal's Braintree for payments on Detailed Image. The new checkout experience offers many advantages to our customers, like added payment options (Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay), better vaulting (i.e. storage) options for faster payment on future purchases, faster refunds, better fraud tools, and more.
11/2021 - We completed a large project that we internally called a "design refresh" for Detailed Image. Our goal was modernizing the aesthetic - which hadn't changed in any meaningful way since 2013 - without changing the customer experience in any notable way.
12/2021 - We renewed our warehouse lease and agreed to our third (and likely last) expansion. What started out as a 5,200 sq-ft space in 2008 will be over 22,000 sq-ft once construction is completed in 2022. In addition to more space for products, we're adding another office, a new break room, new bathrooms, and an improved shipping dock.
12/2021 - We celebrated Pure Adapt's 15th anniversary. I'm extremely grateful for the success that our company has had, the people I get to work with every day (especially my business partners), our prospects for the future, and the quality of life that I'm able to live.
9/2022 - We improved our shipping system by tracking the status of a customer's package after it ships using the FedEx API and USPS API. This allows us to do cool things like display real-time tracking data on our website, study delivery speeds by shipping service, proactively reship damaged orders, and much more.
12/2022 - We're taking a much more measured approach to the holiday shopping season. Instead of a "sales at all costs" mentality, we're no longer shipping a ton of volume at low margins. We don't need to staff up, work late, work weekend shifts, or coordinate weekend package pickups. We also don't need to overstock inventory heading into a slower period over the winter. We still provide our customers with great deals, but we're also able to enjoy our holidays and set the business up for success over the winter.
2/2023 - We recently completed an entire overhaul of our system for quoting shipping rates during checkout. The new system, which concurrently pulls rates from FedEx and USPS in real-time with almost no noticeable delays, has several big benefits: less code, simpler maintenance, more accurate rates, the ability to add other providers relatively easily.
6/2023 - We used the end of Google's Universal Analytics as an opportunity to switch to the privacy-focused Matomo and remove all third-party ad trackers from Detailed Image
2/2024 - I migrated my site to Static.app. It's affordable, secure, and dead-simple to use. I highly recommend it!
2/2024 - After years of managing our own email server, we integrated with Elastic Email's Email API and warmed up two dedicated IPs for sending our newsletters. We were able to keep our existing backend efficiencies, while monitoring, debugging, processing bounces, and dealing with provider blocks became much more efficient and straight forward.