A prior version of this article incorrectly stated Zillow's IPO price. The Fool regrets the error.

Peter Lynch once said, "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." In this first edition of Crayon Chronicles, analyst Justin Loiseau puts crayon to paper to examine the business model and investment argument for online real estate company Zillow.

Quarterly earnings hitting the presses next week, and Justin and analyst Austin Smith take a look at why Zillow is a disruptive force, where it's getting its money from, and whether it can maintain the fast growth that Zillow has seen in the last few years.

We see what Zillow has learned from the best tech companies out there, as well as some of the dot-com traps that it's managed to avoid so far.

We also take a look at some of Zillow's key distinguishing features, from its not-so-ad-based revenue model to its proprietary algorithms that keep Zillow's housing database robust and increasingly accurate.

Zillow stands out in the group of recently public tech companies for their strong post-IPO performance. The company now trades at nearly double their initial offering price, meanwhile Facebook trades for about half of theirs. While there are reasons for concern with Facebook, there are also huge catalysts for growth on the horizon. We've outlined them in our newest premium research report. There is a lot more to this company than meets the eye, so read up on whether there is anything to "like" about ittoday, and we'll tell you whether we think Facebook deserves a place in your portfolio. Access your report by clicking here

 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.