3 Things: D&O Insurance for Crypto, Living Wall Kits, Progressive Profiling for B2C
Happy Sunday and a very warm welcome to all the new subscribers! I’m thrilled and honored to have you as readers and truly appreciate your thoughts and feedback 🙏. Each edition of 3 Things will contain a dive into 3 rabbit holes I’ve found myself going down recently. Subscribe to get each week’s edition straight to your inbox and if you enjoy it, please share (I suck at self-promotion so can use your help)! This past week I’ve been thinking a lot about:
D&O Insurance for Crypto
Living Wall Kits
Progressive Profiling for B2C
1. D&O Insurance for Crypto
Directors and officers liability insurance (aka D&O insurance) is a specific type of insurance policy that protects a company’s executives from personal financial losses if they get sued in business-related lawsuits. Anyone who is on the Board of Directors at a company is typically covered under D&O insurance for claims against them while acting as an officer of the company. Since anyone can sue anyone for anything in the US (still blows my mind a bit), it is common practice for venture-backed startups to be required to have D&O insurance to mitigate claims that could be filed by employees, vendors, competitors, customers, investors, or other parties related to wide-reaching violations such as:
Breach of fiduciary duty resulting in financial losses or bankruptcy
Misrepresentation of company assets
Misuse of company funds
Failure to comply with workplace laws
Theft of intellectual property and poaching of competitor’s customers
Lack of corporate governance
Companies like Embroker (which has raised $142m) have helped startup founders acquire the appropriate coverage quickly, easily, and relatively cheaply. Now, with the influx of web3 companies, or even adding token components to web2 companies, it is unclear who is on the hook to follow certain laws and hold fiduciary responsibilities… and in what jurisdictions. Many web3 companies choose to incorporate in places like the Cayman Islands or BVI and have users or customers across the globe. Even if the company is a Delaware C Corp, sometimes a foundation is set up in a place like Zug Switzerland (known as “Crypto Valley”) which has control over many aspects and decisions for the company. If a startup is set up as a DAO, you now have a whole host of people who are essentially acting as “directors” of that organization. As more investors start placing bets on these types of companies, there will likely be requirements to have some protection against various lawsuits. A company can adapt the concept of D&O liability insurance tailored to these new types of organizations and offer protection to the key stakeholders. A GTM hack would be going through the investors who could require it as a condition for investment as even companies who launch a token typically either start out with equity investments or do so alongside the token. As governments start regulating aspects of crypto and web3, the company could follow closely and immediately spin up products insuring companies against various legal risks.
2. Living Wall Kits
Plant ownership and overall interest in plants has skyrocketed over the past few years, especially among Millennials. Today, 7 out of 10 Millennials consider themselves “plant parents” and venture-backed startups like The Sill and Bloomscape provide DTC offerings to meet the demand. There have even been some startups like Neverland focused on building community and education for these new plant owners. Interaction with plants have been shown to reduce stress levels as well as lower blood pressure, and recent studies have shown direct links to increased productivity and reduction in sick days. Regardless of whether these benefits are real or perceived, it’s undeniable that Americans have an obsession with plants. 66% of households have indoor plants and up to 55% of US households participate in gardening activities, spending $115B annually. There are over 4.4m people in the r/gardening subreddit and another 1.1m people in r/houseplants.
Taking plant ownership and maintenance up another notch is the concept of a living wall. These beautiful pieces of living art are both aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. They supposedly improve air quality, reduce noise, and at a minimum, can act as a great zoom background :) The problem is, they are either incredibly expensive (like LiveWall) and extremely hard to maintain, or cheaper and look pretty horrible. I recently saw a neighbor put up what looked like a crosshatch pattern of metal rope on the front of their house where the stairs go from the yard to the front door, and didn’t know what it was. After about a month, beautiful vines and flowers started growing all along the metal trellis (which I have learned is called a diamond espalier), creating an amazing sight. They seemingly did zero work and it turned out beautiful so I was thinking, why couldn’t you sell that as a kit for small indoor (or outdoor) walls? You could create a fun brand targeted at Millennials and offer various patterns with easy surface mounts and a tray for dirt and water at the bottom. The kit would come with seeds, a bottle to water the base, and instructions. You could offer a variety of sizes and with the larger ones, allow people to pay extra for someone to come and install it. This would be a perfect product for social media campaigns and influencer marketing on channels like TikTok and Instagram as well as leveraging the massive subreddits.
3. Progressive Profiling for B2C
The concept of progressive profiling has been around in the B2B world since the mid 2000s and was popularized by marketing automation companies like Marketo and Hubspot. The idea is to capture customer information slowly over time as a user interacts with a company’s owned properties (website, content, blog, etc) as opposed to bombarding them with a 12-field form. The first time an anonymous visitor fills out a form on a website landing page, for example, they’ll be asked to complete only a few form fields like name, email, and company. The next time that visitor fills out a form, cookie tracking allows you to replace any of the form fields you’ve already collected from the contact with new fields like title, industry, and phone number. Over time, you start to build up a holistic profile of that lead which gets stored in all sales and marketing systems of record like your CRM and Marketing Automation system.
On the B2C side, 98% of website traffic is anonymous which makes it hard to personalize experiences and capture information required to market to those customers on other channels. Google Ads allow you to launch retargeting campaigns aimed at people who have visited your site and Facebook/Instagram and other social media platforms try to help you create “lookalike audiences” but those are focused on generic ad campaigns. Once you’ve converted a customer, you typically have their name and email address, but if you were able to ask a dozen more questions, it would significantly aid marketing campaigns to help you upsell, cross-sell and get those consumers to re-engage and become repeat purchasers or users. If you take the concept of B2B progressive profiling and apply it here, you could have micro-surveys that get embedded in points of conversion like Thank You pages as well as in omni-channel touch points where you can gamify the experience or present offers like 5% off your order if you fill out these 2 fields, a $5 gift card, etc. There have been dozens of companies that provide popups trying to capture email through discount offers, but they typically stop there. Imagine the personalization you could apply to website experiences, emails, SMS campaigns, and even things like dimensional mail or in-box ads if you have nuanced consumer information on each visitor.
That’s all for today! If you have thoughts, comments, or want to get in touch, find me on Twitter at @ezelby and if you enjoyed this, please share with a friend or two!