By John Gruber
Flatfile: Never format messy spreadsheets again.
A year ago, I announced a partnership with my friends at Oddica to take over production and shipping of Daring Fireball t-shirts. It’s worked out great — better shirts, better print quality, fun packaging, and, when shirts are in stock, much faster shipping times than when I was handling fulfillment myself.
The only problem has been with the “when shirts are in stock” part. What I should have done last year is what I’m doing now: only selling shirts during periodic promotions, after which I’ll order enough new shirts to cover the newly-placed batch of orders. After that, no shirt orders until the next promotion.
I’ll take orders now through the end of March next week. All orders should be printed and shipped by the end of April. This includes a slew of shirts that were ordered during the previous few months. All pending orders will ship first, once new shirts arrive from the printer.
To be clear: It is my fault, not Oddica’s, that I continued to accept orders for out-of-stock shirts months in advance of the new print runs. Switching to periodic shirt promotions will keep this from happening again.
Many of you have written to say that the difference since I’ve gone full-time has been both noticeable and welcome: more articles along with a more consistent and steady pace to the Linked List. The funny part about these messages is that most of them end by thanking me, as in, Hey, I’ve really been digging Daring Fireball since you took it pro last year. Thanks for making it such an enjoyable site to read.
I say, thank you. Thank you for reading Daring Fireball, and, to those of you who have become members and purchased t-shirts, thank you for making this possible. The membership system is the primary source of revenue for Daring Fireball. This web site is better because of you.
Unlike last year, the membership system no longer constitutes the majority of this site’s revenue; however, it’s still a significant part. My original (years ago) goal was to take this site full-time based on nothing but direct reader support; that didn’t work out, but membership revenue, to me, remains the purest form of support. I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished with Daring Fireball: a self-published, profitable web site for which I never borrowed any money, and have accepted only a modicum of advertising. This has only been possible because of the direct support of readers like you.
Now that DF’s main (free) feed is full-content, there isn’t as much differentiation between it and the members-only feeds, but many members still use them. (One good reason is that you can subscribe to separate feeds for articles and Linked List entries.) The member feeds contain an automated reminder when your membership is about to expire, and a bunch of you have already renewed for another year. My sincere thanks.