It's one of the biggest and most interesting business stories of this year... and in the history of business.
Groupon will forever be known as the first company in the history of business to reach one billion dollars in sales the quickest (making it the fastest growing business ever). If that wasn't interesting enough, the company recently turned down a six billion dollar acquisition offer from Google. It's the kind of story we thought we would never hear again after the dot com implosion.
It's a great business model.
Groupon works at the hyper-local level. They find local businesses (mostly service-based) who can offer up an incredible one-time deal. They help the business set-up the price and the reserve (a certain amount of people have to commit to purchasing the deal for the reserve to be met). This happens daily. As the company evolves, they are opening their services up to more and more cities. As their popularity continues to grow, they are faced with many copy-cat companies as well as more traditional companies (like newspapers and yellow pages) running their own Groupon-esque like deals.
Two days ago, Groupon founder, Andrew Mason, was on Charlie Rose. Unfortunately, the Charlie Rose show does not allow their videos to be embedded, so you have to go here to watch this fascinating interview: Charlie Rose and Andrew Mason.