Disruption by Mark Cuban and Adam Lyons at SXSW

You have to be stubborn enough to see stuff through. Disruption comes from the cross section of change and ability to being able to adapt.” Adam Lyons from The Zebra

Taking on the Space

At the early age of 15, Adam made the decision to move out of his house. Through his experiences at Temple University, he began to realize that the insurance space was not only incredibly inefficient but difficult to navigate for customers.

With this knowledge, Adam decided to email Mark Cuban about the concept of his company, The Zebra. Adam’s idea for The Zebra was to create something that could compare auto insurance quotes from every top insurance company in seconds -- making it easier for customers.

After pitching this idea to Mark Cuban, he ultimately won an investment with him. As Adam says, “Timing was important, and the process of comparing auto insurance was ready to be disrupted.” Similar to Uber entering the market, Adam’s idea was met with quite a bit of pushback from the market that needed to be overcome.

Overcoming regulation creates uncertainty. If there’s existing regulation, something will need to be changed to overcome what has been in the past.

Access To Funding Isn’t As Hard As You Think.

Cuban explained, “You only have to do well one time to be a success.” This applies directly to raising money. It’s not necessary to do everything well; rather you just need to do one thing well, one time, to make it happen.

Lyons mentioned,“Good companies will get funded.” It’s not as hard as it seems to get funded when you have something that investors want. The investors from Zebra came from everywhere, not just one place.

Disruption Can Be Creative And Destructive At The Same Time

For Zebra, they started with what was already available and did something that worked for the end user. 

“When first starting, it’s easy to think you know everything,” Adam said, “after awhile you learn how to navigate the system and change an industry from the ground up.”