Currently tracking 1,100,000 samples

Sparkle Turns Four

Sparkle turned four a couple of weeks ago!

Here's a review of the past few years.


Sparkle launched just over four years ago, right around the Beijing Olympics. Now the London Olympics have been and gone, it's interesting to look back at how much has changed.

Facts and figures

First of all, here's a chart of the number of customers (agencies not individual people) using Sparkle. The x-axis runs from July 2008 to August 2012.

Sparkle customers over time

Happily the graph is going in the right direction: up!

Sparkle's raison d'être, of course, is to track sample loans. The following table shows the number of loans is more than doubling each year. Again, a good sign!

Year endingCumulative number of loans
13 August 200914,432
13 August 201030,782
13 August 201172,898
13 August 2012172,229

And for those who like pictures, here's the chart:

Cumulative loans over time

Of course for you to track samples with Sparkle, it has to be available. Here is how I'm doing at keeping Sparkle up and raring to go:

Year endingDowntime (bad)Uptime (good)
13 August 20092h 56m99.87%
13 August 20102h 04m99.98%
13 August 20116h 01m99.93%
13 August 20129h 46m99.89%

The final row doesn't tell the full story. Most of the past year's downtime happened during the second half of 2011. I realised this was happening at the time, and early in 2012 replaced Sparkle's web server and application servers with better alternatives (in fact, the best).

Over the past six months, Sparkle has had just 29m of downtime — an availibility of 99.99%. Yay!

What's been happening over the past year?

New things! The past year saw improved or new sample labels, delivery notes, sample imagery, reports, and stylists — among many other smaller changes. I have a long list (over 100!) of new ways Sparkle can save you time and help you do your job like the heroes and heroines you are.

Sparkle also got securer and stabler. I spent a lot of time upgrading and replacing infrastructure so Sparkle remains available and fast even as it handles more data. I have another server move planned soon which should speed up the site noticeably for most customers.

I was lucky enough to attend the last two German Press Days (SS12 and AW12) where I met lots of great people — who gave me much helpful feedback. I have come to appreciate German directness ;)

And Sparkle gained its first customers in Beverly Hills, Manhattan, Hamburg, Munich, and Glasgow. Future business trips are looking quite appealing.

I really enjoy running Sparkle and especially hearing from people using Sparkle. Thank you for all the great comments over the past year!

Next article →

The One True Delivery Note

← Previous article

Signing Delivery Notes

All articles

See all articles