This week’s #WebsiteWednesday is a treat for both domainers and startups alike. Morgan Linton is an entrepreneur, angel investor, tech fanatic, and domain industry veteran. While many of our readers will know that Morgan has been sharing his thoughts on the domain industry via his website MorganLinton.com, Morgan has always been a passionate member of the startup community. Now, he’s sharing his thoughts, advice, experiences, and more via his new personal blog website Morgan.xyz.
Morgan’s unique perspective has been sought after for years, as evidenced by his appearances at TEDx Rome, on NPR’s Marketplace, in StartupBeat, and many other publications. Now, he’s sharing his insights on the ever changing startup landscape, specifically as it pertains to investing and emerging technologies, via Morgan.xyz.
Morgan took some time to sit down with us and give us a bit of insight into what readers can expect from Morgan.xyz and share a bit about his own personal journey.
XYZ: You’ve had Morgan.xyz since .xyz went live in 2014. Did you have a vision then of what it someday would become?
ML: When .xyz came out I knew that I really wanted to have my first name and, to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what I would do with it. While I wish I could say that I had some grand vision for what it would be someday, I actually had no idea initially. I just knew that I wanted the brand.
XYZ: When did you know that you wanted to devote your career to technology?
ML: Probably when I got my first computer. It was a Mac Classic, and even though it had a black and white screen I still used both Photoshop and Pagemaker on it. I couldn’t get enough – safe to say, I was hooked and I haven’t been unhooked since then.
XYZ: You’ve spent a lot of time in Northern California, basing your business in San Francisco and growing up in Berkley, but your studies and work experience have taken you around the world. Where has been your favorite place to travel? Can you share a unique story from your experiences trotting the globe?
ML: That is a good question and I have an answer that immediately comes to mind – Hong Kong. There is something truly magical about Hong Kong and I have loved visiting the city since my very first trip. The food, the people, the ocean – it has so much great energy and so much going on. It’s safe to say the city has a pulse, and my heart seems to beat at the same rate.
Hmmmm, now as for a unique story, that’s a good question. Here’s one I can think of, not from Hong Kong, but from Italy. My first time in Italy I ordered a pepperoni pizza thinking, “wow this is going to be amazing!” When the pizza arrived it had some bell peppers on it – no pepperoni to be found. I asked where the pepperoni was and they pointed to the bell peppers on top of my pizza. That was the day I learned that, in Italian, I had just ordered a pizza with bell peppers on it. Live and learn!
XYZ: You’ve been an angel investor for 2 years now, can you share an experience that sticks out for you, and some of the things you’ve learned along the way?
ML: Well, my first successful exit this year definitely sticks out. I thought it would be a long time until I ever made any money angel investing, and I actually thought I might lose everything I put in, so that was a nice surprise.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that it’s all about the founders. There are so many people with great ideas out there, but it takes a great founding team to execute on the idea and have the courage to change their idea when something isn’t working.
XYZ: You discuss the future of technology often on your blog and specifically delve into how it will affect the future of commerce. What technological advancement do you see on the horizon that you are most excited about?
ML: Augmented reality is at the top of my list when it comes to technological advancements that I think are going to change all of our lives. Magic Leap is probably the furthest ahead in this space, and it’s clear a lot of investors also believe in the future of AR given the billions of dollars Magic Leap has been able to raise, all pre-launch.
I think it’s going to have a similar consumer introduction as the cell phone. In the beginning people will say, “oh I don’t need that, I can see why tech people would use it but I’m not a tech person.” Then, boom – everyone has one. I can still remember both of my parents telling me, “well I know why you need a phone that does email and has a camera on it, but I won’t ever need that.” Now they both have iPhones.
XYZ: How do you balance your passions like domain investing, traveling, and outdoorsmanship with your startup Bold Metrics?
ML: The simple answer here is that I don’t balance. I’ve learned that focus is critically important to doing anything well, so I put just about every waking minute into Bold Metrics. That means that I don’t spend much time domain investing, traveling, or hiking/backpacking, even though these are all things I am really passionate about.
From time to time I can escape on a weekend and get out in nature which I really love, but outside of that I don’t have much balance. Just ask my friends and family, they’ll tell you – I spend most of my time working. I knew what I was getting into when we started the company and while I know some people who have managed to balance their company and their life, the reality is that most founders have to make their startup their life.
XYZ: When .xyz launched, you predicted it would be popular among startups. Flash forward to 2018, and .xyz has been adopted by thousands of startups from around the world, including household names like MIT (Engine.xyz), Deloitte (Exponentials.xyz), and the co-founders of Skype (Starship.xyz). What did you see 4 years ago helped you predict the success .xyz would have in the startup world?
ML: Once again, it’s all about founders. I knew Daniel before he started .xyz and was always impressed with his passion and drive. I also am a fan of short, easy-to-remember TLDs, and .xyz felt like a domain extension that nobody would forget.
Since Daniel is a successful startup founder himself I knew he would be able to build a brand that startups loved, and it is pretty clear he was able to do that. As I’m learning as an angel investor, bet on the founders who truly impress you. Daniel is definitely one of those people.
XYZ: Do you have any other exciting projects that we should keep an eye out for?
ML: Nothing for now, but you can get more plugged into some of the exciting things we are doing at Bold Metrics on Morgan.xyz!
Morgan’s path to success across multiple fields is a product of his tireless work ethic, his ability to identify trends in tech, and the many invaluable experiences he’s gathered along the way. If you’re a startup founder or budding entrepreneur, Morgan’s advice and perspective can help get you the edge you need to succeed. Just as .xyz is helping the next generation of internet users on the path to success, Morgan.xyz’s “real life” look at entrepreneurship is giving #GenXYZ a guide that can set them on the right track to achieve their dreams.
If you want more insight and advice from Morgan, be sure to tune into XYZ’s Instagram story tomorrow, where Morgan will be taking over in this week’s edition of our #TakeoverThursday series and answering your questions! You can also catch up on any #TakeoverThursdays you missed by clicking the #TT archive thumbnail on our Instagram page.