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Must-Read Mondays: Snow Crash

Hello, happy Monday, and welcome to Must-Read Mondays! With Facebook’s recent acquisition of Oculus the concept of the Metaverse becomes closer to reality. What is the Metaverse you ask? Let’s talk about Snow Crash.


First things first. Snow Crash is honestly one of the books that really got me into reading when I was younger. I also think it might just be the first book that I read non-stop until I finished it. I think I read it over a weekend and that’s all I did.

At the time the plot seemed far off in the distant future, a virtual reality world called the Metaverse was quickly becoming an alternative to living in reality. The main character in the book, Hiro Protagonist, is a pizza delivery guy in the future. Oh and yes, you guessed it, we quickly realize it’s up to Hiro to, well, be a hero and save the world (or, Metaverse).

Now, with Facebook behind the helm of Oculus, VR could become a part of your life sooner than you may think. Which is why you should come prepared by having already read this book a couple of times. Who knows, maybe you’ll become a hero?

I highly recommend Snow Crash, it has been one of my favorite books for a long time (over 15 years) and if you’re looking for a good read, and one you might not be able to put down, make sure you add this one to your list.

Photo Credit: kirainet via Compfight cc


Flippa Friday

Hello, Happy Friday, and welcome to Flippa Friday here on! Another week has flown by and I have another great list of domain names listed for sale on Flippa. Also as always feel free to submit domains to me, and if I like them, I will recommend them on here. I apologize to anyone’s names who don’t make it in, I only recommend domains that I would buy myself so if I wouldn’t buy it, it wouldn’t go on this list.

Now for this week’s list, enjoy! – it’s no secret that .IO names are hot and this is one of the absolute best. Currently at $2,474 with six days to go. Don’t expect to buy and easily flip this, however it’s a good longer-term investment or solid fit for a company that can put it to use right-away. – did I mention how much I love one-word .COMs? This could be a great name for a GPS company or a startup with a cool new location-based app. – I liked this name last week and I like it just as much now. Solid one-word .NET, currently at $15,000 with nine days to go. – short, meaningful, memorable .ORG. Not ever going to sell for the big bucks but it’s a nice domain that someone will appreciate and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than trying to get the .COM. – the crafting market is huge and I really like this keyword paired with a .INFO since there are so many people looking for information about crafting online.



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Yes, it’s pretty hard for a week to go by without another company that brands on .IO either raising their next round, or getting acquired by Silicon Valley favorites like Quixey. This week, a competing app search engine was acquired by Quixey, a startup that has raised $75M so far and is not slowing down anytime soon.

It’s no secret that apps aren’t going anywhere. They are here to stay and the ecosystem around apps is growing faster than ever before. Being the Google of Apps is a pretty desirable place to be and right now Quixey looks like they are the most-likely to earn that title.

Congrats to the team, it’s great to see talented entrepreneurs execute on an idea and turn it into something great. Ten years ago that innovation happened only on .COM, .NET and .ORG, now it’s happening on .CO, .IO, .ME and many other TLDs to come. It’s only a matter of time before we starting reading about startups branding on .CLUB, .LINK, .XYZ, .GURU and many more.

At the end of the day it’s all about execution, and we live in a time where that execution can happen across a whole range of TLDs.


When you use the Facebook app on your phone there’s a good chance you’ve come across ads for apps. Often the app is free to try and you click one button and it’s on your phone. While you personally may have never clicked on one of these ads, a lot of people do, and Facebook makes a fortune off of them.

Just in case you’re in the 1% of people who read my blog but aren’t on Facebook, here’s what they look like:

Facebook Mobile App Ads

Now Twitter has decided to get in on the action. Today Twitter posted an announcement on their blog – mobile app install ads are coming to Twitter.

We are excited to announce new ways for marketers and developers to drive app installs and app engagements using our new mobile app promotion suite: both on Twitter, and off-Twitter through thousands of mobile apps that use MoPub’s mobile advertising exchange. (Source – Twitter Blog)

Here’s a first look at what the new mobile app ads on Twitter:

Twitter Mobile App Ads


I think this is a great move by Twitter and it’s going to add a very nice revenue stream to their ad business. The battle for mobile advertising is only just beginning but it’s clear we have three players that are getting ready to duke it out, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Of course, there’s plenty for everyone to share, but what fun would that be?


Yes, the times they are a changing and while Google is still bringing in the big bucks with a whopping $15.42B in revenue in Q1 cost-per-click fell 9%. While CPC fell total paid clicks increased by 26% y/y which makes the 9% not look too bad, but still it’s hard to ignore. The search giant has long dominated the online advertising space but lately companies like Facebook have been encroaching on their territory.

Google Mountain View

Google’s revenue grew 19% y/y which helped buoy the stock 4% in regular trading today. Still despite strong revenue growth Google failed to meet analyst expectations with an EPS of $6.27 vs. an $6.40.

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At the end of March I covered a “Lead Generation” themed auction that featuring a pretty extensive list of names. Well, like most good things, the auction is coming to an end tomorrow so I wanted to put out a quick reminder for anyone that may have put this on their to-do list.

I think that themed auctions make a lot of sense since many investors and developers focus on one or two niches they know well. Lead Generation is one of the hottest spaces online and some names in the auction like are big names with big potential.

Some of the other names that I like that I mentioned before are,, and So, if you’re in the market for a good lead generation name, and looking for some way to turn your tax return into a much bigger return definitely take a look at this auction before it ends.

You can view the full list of inventory here.


Must-Read Mondays: The Lean Enterprise

Hello, happy Monday, and welcome to Must-Read Mondays here on! Today I wanted to share a book that I think will most-likely be one of the most popular business books of 2014, it’s called The Lean Enterprise and it is the most comprehensive book ever written about applying the lean principals in larger organizations.

Lean Enterprise Book

Dave McClure from 500 Startups had this to say about the book:

Corporations who miss this book have their days numbered. 

Brad Smith, the President of Intuit had this to say:

The Lean Enterprise presents a framework for companies to create an environment that empowers the greatest entrepreneurial talent to thrive inside the organization, retaining the great innovative minds and reaping the benefits of their greatest inventions.

As many of you know Fashion Metric was born out of Lean Startup Machine and the lean principals have been critical to help us get to where we are today. Here’s a quick look at what’s in the book:

  • Chapter 1 - Roadmap: The Lean Enterprise
  • Chapter 2 - Strategy
  • Chapter 3 - Corporate Structure
  • Chapter 4 - Compensation
  • Chapter 5 - Vision: The Innovation Thesis
  • Chapter 6 - Lean Enterprise Process
  • Chapter 7 - Experimental Methods
  • Chapter 8 - Innovation Accounting
  • Chapter 9 - Incubate Internally
  • Chapter 10 - Acquire Early
  • Chapter 11 - Invest When You Can’t Acquire
  • Chapter 12 - Innovation Flow

Of course the key to a good book is the author and I can tell you that Trevor and Obie are two of the most respected thought leaders in the Lean Startup space and the best people I could think of to write a book like this.

So if you’ve been curious about the lean principals and how they can be applied beyond the startup world I highly recommend this book. You can read more about it here or buy it now from Amazon.


I have been following the rise of .IO on my blog for some time now and it is more clear than ever that this TLD is hotter than ever. You might remember a company called Kickfolio that raised a million dollars and changed their name to Well they have been testing their tech for the last 18 months and now 15,000 developers strong are making a big move into the mobile ad space.


The concept is pretty cool, try-before-you-buy applied to mobile advertising. Here’s the really cool part, they are crushing conversion rates of image and video ads, here’s the numbers:

Image Ads – 4.9% conversion rate

Video Ads – 5.7% conversion rate Ads – 17.9% conversion rate

In a world that has gone mobile, has positioned themselves in a very interesting place and as a viable alternative to Facebook and Google who have for a very long time dominated the space.

Hats-off to the team, and one prediction, if Facebook doesn’t buy these guys in the next six-months I’ll be surprised. I’ll come back to this post when it happens :)


Flippa Friday

Hello, happy Friday and welcome to Flippa Friday here on! We are in Chicago today and it looks like we arrived just in time to welcome the warm weather. You’ll notice some TLDs like .IO and .TATTOO on my list this week, while I typically stay pretty far away from these TLDs when it comes to investing I do think there are some solid premiums that make sense, and I’ve included those in this week’s selections as well.

Remember, I still very strongly recommend that investors put their focus on .COM. Still the Internet is evolving and while I’m still .COM-focused as an investor, I do see a bright future for some of the new gTLDs. As you all know, Frank Schilling absolutely loves .COM, he’s made his fortune with it, but he still believes in the new gTLDs just like Daniel Negari and the team at Donuts. Not there yet? Don’t let the world pass you by, it moves fast! Now for today’s list: – I’m not always crazy about’s however Aspen while not a big city, does have some pretty pricey hotels. This could make a great lead gen site if put in the hands of the right developer. That being said, this isn’t a great flip so I’d only buy it if you have experience in the lead gen space specifically for travel. Otherwise you’ll quickly find that no hotel in Aspen will pay more than $10 for this one. – the developer community has fallen in love with .IO. Couple this with the fact that companies like have raised over $6M and it’s clear that the investor community has also embraced this TLD. Send.IO is about as solid a .IO name as you can get. – I absolutely love one-word .COMs. Their values can go from $25,000 or less all the way up to $10M+. This is a great name, nobody will ever forget it and someone, someday will pick this as their brand. – I’m not a huge fan of .directory but I do think there are some keywords that will do well, this is one of them. – I love the smell of a good 3 character .COM in the morning. Not the best 3 character .COM but still plenty of companies that use this as the acronym for their name and some good potential buyers out there. Of course you’ll have to get to this one before the Otter Jogging Venue :) – I love sushi and while I’m not too bullish on .NET because I actually think TLDs like .GURU and .APP are stronger, this isn’t a bad one and it’s a great brand for someone who can’t afford but wants to do something on the Interwebs related to sushi.

Okay, that’s it for me, have a great weekend everyone!


How many times have you seen a page on Facebook that says, “Like or share this page!” Maybe it’s a page for hilarious cat videos or possibly a one of your favorite brands. Now Facebook has decided to put the kibosh on this behavior by officially announcing that pages asking people to “Like or share” their content will be punished.


According to Facebook:

Today we are announcing a series of improvements to News Feed to reduce stories that people frequently tell us are spammy and that they don’t want to see. Many of these stories are published by Pages that deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would. Our update targets three broad categories of this type of feed spam behavior. (source – Facebook Newsroom)

Like Google Facebook is trying to clean things up and if Google’s Panda and Penguin updates are any indicator of what’s to come, it could be a rough ride for some brands. Habit changes are hard, especially for brands that use Facebook as their main source of customer acquisition.

Just like JC Penny was crushed by Google’s algorithm updates, the same could very likely start happening to other brands on Facebook. Of course this is how the Internet works, products and services launch, become popular, and then work hard to curate the massive amount of content they manage.

I see changes like this as opportunities, the chance for some companies to get an edge that might not have been available before. Where that edge is I don’t know yet, but since Facebook is a major customer acquisition channel for us you bet I’ll be testing quite a few different techniques.

If you want to read more about Facebook’s move to clean up their Newsfeed make sure to read the full post in their newsroom.