- Web developer creating and maintaining Ruby on Rails applications since early 2005
- Founded Little Stream Software in 2007
- Worked with Ecommerce since mid-2005 and Shopify since 2014
- Creator of various Shopify apps, with Repeat Customer Insights my focus now.
- Open Source developer
- Author of five ebooks on various topics: refactoring Ruby code, Redmine, writing/publishing, and business
- Ultramarathon runner, with 50km runs through the forest my favorite
Hi, I'm Eric Davis. I'm the founder, developer, marketer, cook and everything else for Little Stream Software.
As you can tell, Little Stream Software is a company of one.
My background first and foremost is business.
Early on in college I got the entrepreneurship bug, which I can blame my (now) wife for. The thought of creating a business from scratch and filling a need in the world is great motivator. This caused me to switch my major to business. However, entrepreneurship wasn't taught there so I supplemented with a lot of business books and dabbling in different businesses while in collage.
During these years I got into programming and self-taught a lot of what I know now.
...and then a developer
Since 2002ish I've been running servers and doing web development on personal and community sites. It wasn't until 2005 that I really got seriously into development when I first found Ruby on Rails.
I'm going to skip over a lot of the boring history here, but here are some highlights:
- I started with Ruby and Ruby on Rails in 2005 and have worked with them ever since.
- I've gone "off the Rails" and done quite a bit of pure Ruby.
- Since college I've started four major business. I really enjoyed my 18th birthday, not because of a party but because I could finally enter into a legal contract on my own.
Consulting and marketing
Around 2008 I started Little Stream Software as a consultancy-of-one. Of all the business topics, marketing was the weakest from school. Marketing there meant more about the 5Ps and branding than communicating with customers and getting the word out. I've since been learning and teaching all the various aspect of marketing.
That journey has lead me through direct response marketing, copywriting, conversion optimization, email marketing, marketing automation, SEO, and all over the map.
With my skills at writing and programming along with an analytical perspective, I've become drawn to marketing that uses those strengths: direct response marketing, conversion optimization and copywriting. These are three areas where technology and automation can really do amazing things for businesses that "get it".
Early 2015 I started looking at focusing on ecommerce stores as a consultant.
Due to my past history with much of the technology that powered Shopify (Ruby on Rails, Liquid, etc), I was attracted to Shopify. I found building Shopify apps would tie my technical know-how with a strong and growing ecommerce platform. Mid-2015 I built my first public Shopify app (Dripify) to see how the process worked from end-to-end.
After switching my focus and landing a few clients using Shopify for public and private apps, I decided to build more apps and transition from a consultant building apps for other businesses to building my own apps for merchants to install.
The years since I've started, built, acquired, merged, and sold a number of Shopify apps. All with the idea that I can help Shopify stores grow and operate more efficiently using my software.
So that's me. I'm a mixing pot of web developer and entrepreneur, with a strong streak of marketing.
- Owner of JSON-LD for SEO (a top 50 Shopify app), Dripify, Repeat Customer Notifications, Sticky, Customer Segmentor Shopify apps.
- Podcast co-host on Freelancers Show
- Writer of technical, business, and consulting topics
- Was one of the core developers for Redmine and lead the project for several months
- Ex-maintainer of ChiliProject, an Open Source fork of Redmine focused on community
- Author of over 100 Redmine plugins
My primary writing these days is in my Shopify Tips newsletter. Since 2017 I've published a tip for Shopify every weekday, along with my weekly curated newsletter of Shopify topics and news called Shopify Dispatch.
My writing and appearances from around on the web...
- How Rich Snippets can Increase Your Search Traffic with the Rankings You Already Have (Carson)
- How to Get Better Traffic, Free with Semantic Data (Unofficial Shopify Podcast)
- How to Build a Shopify App in One Week (Shopify Partners)
- 3 Key Metrics for Repeat Customers (ShopStorm)
- Building a Simple Shopify App (Envato tuts+)
- Optimizing for Retention & Repeat Purchases with Eric Davis (Unofficial Shopify Podcast)
- How Ecommerce Businesses Benefit from HTML5 and Modern SaaS (Oracle)
- Private Apps: Your Ticket to Moving Your Shopify Store from ‘Good Enough’ to Outstanding (ShopStorm)
- Shopify on Your Terms (Ethercycle)
- From Idea To App: Building a Shopify App In A Week (Paymill)
My Practical Ecommerce column
I also used to write a monthly column for Practical Ecommerce covering development topics for ecommerce executives.
- Protecting Your Store from Cross-site Scripting Attacks
- Despite the GDPR, Cookies Are Vital to Ecommerce
- Pointers on Backing Up Ecommerce Data
- 3-part Plan to Minimize the Impact of Site Outages
- Use Status Pages to Evaluate Cloud-based Vendors
- 3 Steps to Minimize Technology Risks for an Ecommerce Store
- Pros and Cons of Hosted Ecommerce Platforms
- Cloud Hosting the Best Option for Stores that Own Code
- Comparing Web Servers: Dedicated vs. Virtual Private
- Don’t Self-host an Ecommerce Store
- Understanding Code Deployments, for Ecommerce
- Confessions of an Ecommerce Developer
- To Prevent Software Failures, Use Automated Testing
- How to Implement Ecommerce Personalization
- How a Web Developer Estimates Completion Time
- Understanding HTTP Status Codes, for Ecommerce
- To Grow Search Traffic, Add JSON-LD
- Using Caching (and Hardware) to Improve Page Speed
- 3 Backend Fixes to Increase Page Speed
- Alternatives to Rebuilding an Ecommerce Store
- How to Reduce Risks of an Ecommerce Rebuild
- Glossary of Web Development Roles
- Understanding 4 Database Types, for Ecommerce
- How Databases Work with Ecommerce Applications
- How Backend Code Describes an Ecommerce Business
- How Backend Web Applications Power Ecommerce Sites
- What CSS Means for Ecommerce Merchants
- What HTML5 Means for Ecommerce Merchants
Interviews and speaking
I'd be happy to participate in written interviews or write articles for ecommerce sites or sites who cater to ecommerce and Shopify people. I have expertise in:
- Shopify and the app ecosystem
- Software development for ecommerce businesses
- Building easy-to-understand marketing and automation systems
- Bootstrapping self-funded startups