Setting some limits to transparency.
This is the behind-the-scenes blog of Candy Japan. The idea is to share any data and learnings from running a Japanese candy subscription box. Here is everything I have written about it so far.
April income report was the first one ever, it's from 2012. The post was so popular I got encouraged to write more. Now I try to share how well the site is doing at least once a year. More often if we hit any milestones or if I just happen to be in a reflective mood: 2013, hitting $10000 MRR, 2014, 2015 Q1, 2015, 2016. I've also done an interview with Indie Hackers.
An outline of all the online services I'm spending money on can be found in Running costs for Candy Japan.
In Candy Japan hit with credit card fraud I described what credit card fraud is and why it has been a big issue for us. After battling with it for some time, I wrote How Candy Japan got credit card fraud somewhat under control.
I'm a big fan of doing split testing, which means not changing things based on your gut instinct alone, but trying it out to only a portion of customers and gathering real data to see which choice is better. It's science! I wrote a report on trying this out on varying our box design in Results from Candy Japan box design A/B test.
I'm active on Hacker News and gathered some data to see what the best time to do Japan-related posts would be. The conclusion was... that there isn't enough data. I wrote it up anyway in Do articles about Japan do better at night?
As the years passed, I realized I don't necessarily have to do every single thing myself and wrote Delegating a task successfully on oDesk.
One time I got a bit surprised after seeing many similar services popping up and wrote Nobody's Going to Steal Your Idea, which turned out to be a massive hit.
Another time I got bored with packing boxes and tried to write a bin packing algorithm.
In How many lines of code is Candy Japan? I went through the codebase behind this site and tallied up what all of the Python code is there for.
Setting some limits to transparency.
In 2016 Candy Japan struggled with unstable foreign exchange rates and tried making a video ad.
Introduction to bin packing through a simple example of fitting boxes of candy inside a parcel.
How the price of Candy Japan has changed over time and why.
Results from a questionnaire we sent to our subscribers.
Guess how many lines of code you end up with when writing a subscription box site from scratch.
Shows the best time to post to Hacker News if you are writing a story related to a specific country.
How the physical box design for a subscription box affects retention.
Credit card fraud can be a huge problem for subscription boxes. Here's how we got our situation under control.
Software costs involved in running a Japanese candy subscription box.
Goes into more detail than part 1 about what happened in 2015 for Candy Japan.
2015 was a nerve-wrecking year for Candy Japan, with some dramatic ups and downs.
What is credit card fraud, how we noticed it and how it impacted our business.
Should you tell everyone your business ideas, or keep them as your closely guarded secrets?
How getting your subscription box covered on a popular YouTube channel is not necessarily a shortcut to riches.
A look at Candy Japan's first quarter 2015.
Looking back on what happened in 2014 for the Japanese candy subscription box Candy Japan.
Japanese candy subscription box Candy Japan exceeded $10,000 per month in sales.
How the year went for Candy Japan in 2013.
Part 2 on how we set things up to accept credit card payments.
How to hire freelancers on oDesk, now known as upwork.
Explains how we set up accepting credit cards for our subscription box.
How much money can you make by sending surprise candy to people around the world?