Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Groupon Giant

In the economic wasteland of the past three years, the biggest success story has been a website that gets us to buy stuff we never knew we wanted: helicopter-flying lessons, hot stone massages, professional photo portraiture, obscure ethnic food, hot air balloon rides. More precisely, what we buy at Groupon—the two-year-old startup that, with projected revenue of more than $500 million this year, was called the “fastest growing company ever” in a recent Forbes cover story—is the right to buy all that stuff at a huge discount, so long as we all act fast. In other words, what Groupon sells (as its clever name indicates) is coupons, but with a social twist. It’s been such a huge moneymaker that scores of copycats have emerged, including other startups like LivingSocial and 8coupons.

Wired takes some time to observe the bargain junkies of today and the lengths they go to save a buck. In the article, a super saver, Lolly Miltz, racked up an $80 tab at the grocery store and spent less than a dollar out of pocket thanks to her coupon savy. The article also covers how Groupon affects businesses big and small in good and bad ways. You can read the entire five page article on their website here.

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