It’s no secret that there is a lot of money in the insurance world. Insurance has long been one of the hottest markets online and one that certainly has been ripe for disruption. I’m pretty sure most people would agree that if they see another annoying Progressive commercial they’ll go insane. Now Austin-based TheZebra.com is branding itself as the Kayak of Auto Insurance and with a $3M seed they are off to the races.
The name reminds me a bit of when Facebook first started and they were called TheFacebook. While one would think Zebra.com could be in their future I think that’s pretty darn unlikely considering it’s already owned by a company called Zebra Technologies.
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Okay, so you’ve probably never heard of Lazada but that’s just because your based in the US or Europe, if you live in Asia you’ve definitely heard of it. While Amazon may have built a huge market in the US, Lazada is building an eCommerce giant in Asia that really is “the biggest online shopping mall” for the region.
While Amazon branched-out to cover things like hosting Lazada is staying laser-focused on commerce, and it’s working. While the front page of the site might not resonate with you personally it does fit the target audience, which is growing like crazy.
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Hello, Happy Saturday and welcome to my incredibly brief weekend musings. Daina and I are in San Francisco this weekend mentoring at Lean Startup Machine Ultimate. Daina is giving a talk this afternoon about Fashion Metric’s LSM adventures and we’ll be mentoring excited teams all afternoon and evening.
On Tuesday Daina will be speaking on the main stage at the Lean Startup Conference. Yes, never a dull moment over here.
Also we are incredibly excited to add one of our newest brand partners to the store – 7 Diamonds. If you haven’t heard of 7 Diamonds you’re going to be happy you’re reading this. They make shirts from some of the best fabrics and designed to fit like no other. Here’s a few of my favorites:
Bring it Back
If you’re interested in buying any of these feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll send you a coupon code for free shipping since you’re a MorganLinton.com reader! Remember, we killed the size chart so you don’t have to try to figure-out what to order. If you like a shirt on our site, buy it and our algorithm will take care of the rest.
Want more personal attention? We have personal stylists that have just joined the team who can help you with colors, patterns, and specific fabrics so you know you’re getting exactly what you want!
I’ll be one of the first to admit, I am a domain name addict, I love them and I’ve loved them for quite a while now. If you’re reading my blog there’s a good chance you also love domain names but if you’re not entirely sure that you’re an addict just take a look at these questions below.
If you answer “Yes” to all five of these questions I’m happy to say that you are a domain addict:
- You have been bidding on expired domains after midnight at least once this week
- You have domains at more than three registrars
- Domaining.com is the first thing you read every morning (it has been for me for a LONG time now!)
- You go to multiple domain conferences each year
- Frank Schilling is your hero
Feel free to add some of your own to the list, there are definitely more than five ways to know that you’re addicted to domains!
In case you missed the memo there are a deluge of new TLDs coming out very soon. What’s a TLD? That’s what comes after the dot; you know .COM, .NET, .ORG and probably some others like .ME, .CO and .IO, what you might not know is that TLDs like .NYC, .APP and .XYZ are all getting ready for release next year.
At the end of the day I think what will define these TLDs is the companies that run them and .XYZ is actually a startup itself building a TLD that looks like it’s going to be very startup friendly. While we all know and love .COM, it is run by a huge company – Verisign. It’s hard for big companies like this to make quick moves or innovate in any grand ways and at the end of the day they don’t have to since their business is already booming.
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I have talked a lot about the rise of .IO, it’s the same effect I think we’ll see with “some” new gTLDs and this still is only the beginning. Today Bloc.io announced a $2M raise led by Harrison Metal and joined by First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures, and Learn Capital.
The company was founded by two University of Illinois alumni and launched at the Launch conference which brought their first few thousand signups and in essence helped launch the company.
“We believe an online apprenticeship is superior to the classroom model,” says Choxi of Bloc’s apprenticeship angle. “It’s the better way to do advanced skill training, so it’s natural that it could apply to other verticals and other topics,” he adds, hinting at the company’s broader vision as Bloc grows. (Source – TechCrunch)
The education space is definitely heating up and while it might seem like there are a million places to learn how to build websites few have taken this academic-based approach. With sites like Coursera and Skillshare killing it there is definitely room for someone to come in and create a focused learning environment specifically for web development.
I can still remember when I learned HTML back in 1994, I think there were three books out at that time and yes, you needed physical books because there really wasn’t much information online. Fast-forward to today and there are an overwhelming amount of resources out there, making it easy, organized, and course-based is probably what will make the difference between learning the basics and becoming a real full-fledged web developer.
Congrats to the Bloc.io team, another nice .IO success story and it definitely won’t be the last!
Domaining Spain has become the go-to conference for Domain Investors in Europe and for good reason, its organizer, Dietmar Stefitz always puts together an incredible schedule covering a broad range of topics. The conference also takes place in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Valencia – Spain:
Even though the conference is called Domaining Spain it really is a global conference with companies and investors from just about every part of the globe. Dietmar shared some of the topics that they will be covering at the conference next year:
– What happened/s to the Domaining Industry ( Top Panel )
– Trusting NewgTLD’s
– Cooperation between ccTld’s and newGtld’s
– Marketing Ideas and Proposals ( how to use newGTLD’s )
– Community GTLD’s ( awareness, can there be a Business in this segment )
– Legal Panel
– Trademarks / Clearinghouse / News and Numbers
– Registrars and GTLD’s
– .Eu Past-Present-Future
– Parking and UDRP’s
– How to negotiate selling or buying Domains
– Crowdfunding in the Domaining Industry
Also they have been kind enough to extend a special discount for MorganLinton.com readers. Buy your ticket with coupon code: MorganLintonVIP and save 50% at http://www.amiando.com/DomainingEurope2014.html
Domaining Spain does an exceptional job with hotel pricing and you can get rooms for 70 euros a night which comes out to only about $95 USD. With the coupon code above you can get your ticket for only 300 euros which makes the conference one of the most competitively priced ones out there.
The conference takes place May 8th – 10th so you still have some time to plan ahead for this one and it’s a great chance to plan a longer trip throughout Europe while you’re out there! Special thanks to Dietmar for extending this discount to my readers, nothing wrong with 50%-off right?
Photo Credit: o palsson via Compfight cc