sparkfail

sparkfun.com had a sale. Everything was free, you only paid shipping on the first $100k they sold. They have a blog post congratulating themselves about it.

This is a hilarious act of denial. Their site was virtually unavailable during the sale. I was not able to accomplish a single thing at any point over the course of 90 minutes. Further, they encouraged people to put things in their shopping basket the night before but then they cleared all of those shopping baskets right before the sale. If you look at the twittersphere, for every happy person there is probably 10-50 unhappy people. sparkfun’s technical inability to keep up with interest turned what could have been a great promotion into a PR disaster.

And they congratulated themselves for it. They congratulated their IT department for it. Their system didn’t work for 99% of visitors and they are happy with that.

It’s fucking bizarre.

Let me add — I know how hard it is to scale for massive concurrency on a site. Sometimes surprises happen or weaknesses are revealed in big web operations. I’m forgiving of that. I’m not forgiving of bad planning or shoddy execution.

The bottom line: sparkfun achieved their goals. Customers did not. That is backwards.

sparkfail

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