Darien's passion for reptiles began more than two decades ago. After working in web design and internet marketing, he recognized the need for quality live food and founded Dubia.com, which has since become the world's largest producer of dubia roaches. Later, he gained valuable insight into the retail market by building two pet stores in Wichita, Kansas. He is currently creating an Aquarium and Reptarium to serve as an educational platform and showcase reptiles in a positive light.
These experiences have given Darien a diverse perspective in the industry. As a seller on MorphMarket, Darien quickly recognized the platform's value and its potential for growth. Here are some of the ways in which he plans to contribute to its development:
Site Usability: First and foremost, the addition of many new features to MorphMarket has made it a bit complex to use and understand. One of Darien’s first initiatives is to simplify things so that it is welcoming and friendly even to new users.
Positive Change: MorphMarket has an incredible capacity for sparking change in the hobby! Animal welfare is a top priority, and we want to work with sellers who share that ideology. In addition, we will use MorphMarket’s reach to support worthy conservational missions and expand our efforts to feature 501(c)(3) reptile rescues and the animals they have up for adoption.
External Advertising: MorphMarket will be reinvesting more money into its advertising to bring additional buyers into the marketplace and hobby.
Local Shopping: While MorphMarket does have the ability to adjust searches to certain locations, these functions are not obvious. Making it easier to find breeders and animals near you will open up a whole new set of buying opportunities without the need to ship.
Increased Plan Capacities: Capacity limits on membership plans have been increased as of today so that you can list more animals for sale. Now, both Basic and Standard level members can list 33% more animals in dollar value.
Free Animal Management: In the past year, we have added capabilities to manage animals, clutches, and lineage. More features like labels, QR codes, and event tracking are coming soon. Later, sellers will be able to transfer records directly into buyer accounts. We plan to make this functionality available to everyone.
Wholesale Market: Darien’s experience with his own pet stores and relationships with the pet store network will enable us to create a world-class wholesale market with discounted pricing for accredited buyers. This will make it easy for breeders to find homes for every animal.
Social Media Platform: We have all seen the hostility from the major social platforms as they have regulated and shut down our accounts. We will be providing a social experience within our platform that is regulated by us – not a big tech company.
Integrated Payment Processing: We will finish our work to facilitate the purchase of animals through MorphMarket. This will reduce friction in closing on sales that currently require visiting and maintaining other websites.
Enhanced Ratings and Feedback: We understand how important it is for you to be informed about the other person you are communicating with. We are committed to enhancing the data available to both parties in order to save you time and keep you safe.
Darien is one of the most passionate champions of our hobby. He doesn’t see this business as a “zero-sum game” but believes that our pursuit of excellence will grow the entire industry. Like John, his businesses are not focused on breeding reptiles, so there is no bias or conflict of interest in running the platform. We truly believe that he is going to take things to the next level!
As for myself (John), this has been an amazing journey that began over eight years ago. What started as a passion project evolved into a business that allowed me to quit my job, build a team, and focus entirely on the site. I love what we have been able to do and how it’s advanced our industry.
That said, this is not a goodbye message. I am excited to work alongside Darien and the team to continue crushing it. Together we will be able to do more and better things than ever before.
The change in my role has nothing to do with any concerns about MorphMarket or the industry. This was a personal decision that was right for my family and me. As some of you know, I have never been the best at work/life balance. I look forward to focusing more on my health and family. Kora and I have three amazing kids and are about to complete the adoption of a little girl. The process was frozen three years ago at the start of the pandemic. In addition, I am excited to build the collection of reptiles that I’ve always dreamed about, and you can count on me using MorphMarket to do that!
We are super excited to be working with Darien and for the future of MorphMarket. Our vision is highly aligned. His experience, resources, and connections all point toward a very bright future for this business and the reptile hobby.
We know that this may come as a surprise, and hope that this article has answered many of your questions. Please reach out to [email protected] with any comments or concerns. We are always happy to discuss and help.
As we always like to say, it is our pleasure to serve you!