When I first Tweeted this in January, I received a lot of backlash as Groupon -along with the other daily deal sites- are tech’s darlings. Or shall I say were, as today Groupon announced their IPO filing. When the public read Groupon’s S-1 the Silicon Valley tech crowd seemed the most astonished by -GASP- Groupon actually losing money despite their profits.
At first glance, the YOY numbers are pretty impressive:
- 1Q 2011 Revenue: $644.7 million
- 2010 revenue: $713.4 million
- 2009 revenue: $30.47 million
And I’m not going to pretend a net loss of $146.5M wasn’t a tad surprising. And even more shocking is how Groupon hasn’t turned a net profit in any of its first three years of operations, including a net loss of $389.6 million in 2010.
But still. One doesn’t have to be an economist to see right through their faulty model. If you know how the Internet works, a scientific calculator is far from necessary to know: their customer acquisition budget is sky freakin’ high. How else did Groupon gain so much traction in such a short time? Google fairies?
What’s more baffling, is, even with these near comedic metrics, Groupon is still valuated at an astronomical figure. The founders and investors are walking away super wealthy. And I still stand by what I Tweeted back in January: Groupon’s legacy will be an economic dissertation or a B-school case study.
Though the real winner? Google.
For 1. not spending $6B because Groupon turned down the acquisition offer and 2. all the $ Groupon will continue spending on AdWords.
Either which way, I’m just glad the daily deal craze will finally slow down. I’m so sick of hearing how amazing Groupon et al. are, because frankly? They are not. Daily deals are (were?) a hot trend. I’m ready for some innovation. A product with such mind-blowing technology it will stun me stupid.
It’s days like these, I wish I was an engineer.
P.S. If anyone has any inkling on how much Groupon spends a month on Adwords, do share. I tried Googling with no luck. Even Quora didn’t have an answer.
Then, Fred Wilson’s taste makers post and Gmail’s smarter inbox announcement motivated me to finish this draft for this is super exciting technology.
The gist of the serendipity algorithm is digital intelligence. It is not perfect (yet) but through our repeated behaviors and our friends’ actions, sites and services know what we are looking for. Recommendations and things that are relevant to us is accessible as soon as we log-on or even refresh the page. Nowadays, we should be offended if we have to dig through enormous amounts of noise to find things that interest us.
Look around you, we see it on a daily basis on sites we least expect.
- Amazon pulls up recommendations based on past item purchases and browsing behaviors
- Facebook pulls up content relevant to you by the actions of your friends. If enough people in your graph LIKE or comment on an item, that item floats into your newsfeed, even if you are not friends with the original poster
- Yelp rises the users you have fanned to ensure you don’t miss what your favorite reviewer said about a particular establishment
- Twitter pushes Tweets -specifically @replies- into your streams from people who have been RTd
Almost every site and service performs these actions.
So how does this apply to our role as marketers?
We are seeing the medium change every single day. It is our chance to use this shifting paradigm to our advantages, to have a voice heard, a methodology outside of the norm seen… which is the reason social media, the Internet and all these products and services are so exciting.
Every brand, business and even individuals are on an even playing field. It’s about who can best strategize the message, to use social media as an execution tool.
As a marketer and someone who loves this industry, the Internet and my role, it is a bummer to see peers use this medium as a billboard.
That said, I will leave you with words from one of the greatest marketers of our time: the all mighty Steve Jobs.
To me, marketing is about values.
This is a very complicated world. It’s a very noisy world.
And we’re not gonna get a chance to get people to remember much about us.
No company is.
And so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.
Thus, marked the launch of the ‘Think Different’ campaign. (see the keynote here.) Funny how those words are still relevant a decade later.
So how are you going to think differently?
*added: Kevin Elliff chimed in with a much clearer post than mine. Read his thoughts here.
One is real-time search, eagerly awaited since Page opined some months ago that Google should be scanning the entire Web every second. When someone queries a subject of current interest, among the 10 blue links Google now puts a “latest results” box: a scrolling set of just-produced posts from news sources, blogs, or tweets. Once again, Google uses signals to ensure that only the most relevant tweets find their way into the real-time stream. “We look at what’s retweeted, how many people follow the person, and whether the tweet is organic or a bot,” Singhal says. “We know how to do this, because we’ve been doing it for a decade.”
Also, check out this neat graph of Google’s key algo advances:
Will it require a voice plan?
Ok, wait, I should back up.
In case you’re living under a rock, Nexus One launched today. Nexus One is the Google phone. Nexus One comes with GoogleVoice pre-installed. Now, Google Voice does everything a regular mobile number does and more, as you can see from this chart: Continue reading
My head hurts.
A few weeks back, Marissa Mayer talked about how she believes a more intuitive (personalized) search is the future, and calls this future search engine, ‘omnivorous.’ I do not know how or why Google chose the word omnivorous, but the first thing that popped in my head was a T-rex – yes, the very extinct dinosaur – crawling around the Internet, devouring everything it (Google) loves. And no, I am not still drunk from New Year’s.
It’s a robot (in GoogleWave terms) but to me, a robot is like, you know…a machine like thingie with two arms, two legs, hands, and feet. With super duper awesome colors and shiny bodies… eyes with lasers, and stuff.
ANYway, hope this helps.
Unplanned NSFWness and a tad crass…how could I not post this? ;) #MondayInappropriateness
Google Japan made a Chrome Commercial. Wow.
When I first saw Google’s new favicon, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe the ugliness of the re-design. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I thought of various scenarios. Maybe it’s color blind friendly? Or Marissa Mayer was on vacation? Or perhaps it was uploaded by mistake.
After reading this post on Google’s official blog, I was even more confused. You see, Google encouraged users to submit their designs while incorporating their (Google’s) vision in June of 2008. Seven-ish or so months later, they revealed the new favicon (unannounced). Then the Google team showcased some of the contenders.
These designs are easy on the eyes – soft, subtle colors, unobtrusive “G” logo. It’s almost… dreamy. -sigh- Can you blame me for being so confused at Google’s heinous choice? Look at this:
Even the original design looks better than their final design.
Still giving Google the benefit of the doubt, I looked for the author. If Marissa Mayer’s name isn’t included, there could be some hope – right?
Sigh. Guess not.
I really dislike the distracting favicon. So much so, I asked the FriendFeed and Twitter communities for an alternative search engine. If interested, there’s TONS of great feedback here.
This particluar solution: “Dude, just adblock that bitch. – Leather Donut !” made me LOL but as PJ and many others said, GreaseMonkey scripts for Firefox seems the most feasible option. That or finding a new search engine. -double sigh-
Do you guys like the new favicon? If not, are you blocking it? Do you even care?