I started a company determined not to be “that boss.” I wanted to work with people I actually knew and cared about, and wanted them to be happy in return. Unlike some of the cold, clueless managers I had over the years, I intended to be there for my team — tuned into their challenges and committed to building something together.

Then, this fall, it happened. One morning, after months of working remotely, I felt like I had to drag myself to my keyboard. That whole week I was feeling uninspired, disengaged, even a little anti-social. …

The blinking cursor stares you down from the monitor. Your goal to make headway by afternoon is slipping out of reach. In the office, you could be inspired by chatting with a colleague or charting things out on the conference room whiteboard. But now it’s just you, facing a creativity desert.

We hear a lot about the challenges of sustaining productivity in the work-from-home context. But the deeper, underlying issue has gone unaddressed: You can’t have productivity without creativity.

Without access to the activities and people we’ve traditionally sought inspiration from — whether colleagues or concerts, travel or theatre, dance…

I used to think my wife was exaggerating when she teased me about my propensity for online shopping. But looking around my place the morning after Black Friday was like waking up with a strange kind of hangover. My shopping spoils looked different in the harsh light of 2020 — did I really need to upgrade from steel to titanium camping cutlery when we only camp twice a year? As I contemplated how to recycle all the cardboard boxes without being judged by my neighbors, I felt slimy.

There’s no doubt we’ve been engaging in plenty of “retail therapy” online…

Welcome to Long Love Retail, a series exploring the art and science of retail through the eyes of the people who live and love it!

Hey, it’s great to see you here! I’m Ben, welcome to Long Love Retail. Every month, I’m featuring an interview with someone changing the way we think about commerce, online and offline — founders and CEOs, engineers and marketing gurus, shoppers and analysts … and maybe even a historian or social scientist for good measure.

As for me? I was brought up folding jeans in my parents’ denim stores and founded Diff to help demystify ecommerce. I’ve always loved retail — helping people connect with products that mean something to them. Looking forward to sharing stories here.

Demystifying headless commerce with Brian Anderson

Brian Anderson is…

So, tough love: Like it or not, we’re not all going back to the office anytime soon. Seven months into the pandemic, if you haven’t set up a proper home office yet it’s time to step away from the kitchen table and create a real, dedicated work space.

The number one priority — from my lens as an engineer and the CEO of a 100-plus person agency — has to be intentionality. Being deliberate about the office you set up is critical. In fact, the opportunity to do this is one of the unexpected boons of this entire work-from-home experience…

I’ll admit it: I used to think remote companies were in some ways less professional just because they didn’t have an office. But the past few months have made me see the error of my thinking.

Sure, I’ve missed my team since we were forced to close our office and go remote, but the benefits of working from home — fewer distractions, higher productivity and no commutes — have definitely outweighed the challenges. Going forward, my company will join the likes of Shopify, Twitter and Facebook in adopting a permanent shift towards remote work. Of course this will change how…

Like most people, I remember exactly where I was on 9/11 — in school. Same thing for the 2008 global recession, when I was working on my degree. So even though I’ve lived through some major crises with huge economic impacts, I’ve mostly watched them unfold from the sidelines.

Not this time.

As a millennial CEO of an ecommerce agency, not only am I figuring out how to lead a company through a downturn; I’m also leading a team of mostly 20-somethings through their first crisis in the workforce. …

I think it’s fair to say that we’re living through a time of peak uncertainty. More than 2 months into the COVID-19 crisis, we still don’t know how long we’ll have to socially distance, or what our new “normal” will look like. It’s unclear what kind of long-term impact this will have on our economy and millions of people don’t know when, or if, they’ll be back to work.

It’s a lot to handle. I certainly don’t know how everything will unfold, but I do know a few things about coping with chronic uncertainty.

As an entrepreneur, I live with…

Benjamin Crudo

CEO of @DiffAgency. Retailer turned Technologist. #Ecommerce Expert. Helping retailers win today and tomorrow. Developers wanted.

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