I am supposed to be working on my master's thesis proposal. So of course instead, I am reading twitter (among other completely wasteful things), and in addition to seeing rumors that Google might buy Yelp, I saw that Groupon was valued at 250 million dollars.
Um, holy crap. This company is a year old! And apparently they are making money hand over fist! This is brilliant in so many ways. First, it plays off people's irrational desire to buy something just because it's a deal. Then, it works on our instinct to grab something because it's expiring soon. Finally, it takes advantage of our laziness, because what percentage of people actually go redeem the thing they pre-bought? And does Groupon get to keep that money if they don't go redeem the coupon? Cause I have a page sitting on my desk that's supposed to get me a year long pass to the Brattle ($30 for a $104 value!) which has been sitting here for over a month. And will definitely be sitting here for at least another 3 weeks. If I were them I would play like the airplanes and oversell a deal a little in anticipation that some people will never go redeem it.