When the daily deals site Groupon launched in November 2008 it was the hot NKOTB (New Kid On The Block) or like what the chaps down in Silicone Valley like to call them, disruptive start-up. It came hot on the heels of the phenomenal growth of Facebook and with Mark Zuckerberg minting the Benjamins like a problem, all the Vanture Capital big cahoonas were lining up to throw their money at Groupon. And as with all Silicone Valley fads, rave reviews on Mashable, TechCrunch and all the Silicone tabloids threw Groupon to unimaginable heights.
Millions of businesses signed up, the company had 40 mil users in 1 year up from about 400K. I mean, this was the real deal. Pundits put the company’s valuation at a staggering $25 billion; that’s a lot of green. Today, no more than a year down the line since this valuation, the funky stuff seems to have hit the fan and Groupon is on a race to take some public cash through the Groupon IPO before the company goes bust. If you wanna read more about the nitty gritty and how Groupon is going to hurt very many people if it were to go under, get the full Groupon IPO low down here.
All I’m concerned about is what in the world did they think would happen?
Let’s do a quick recap on Groupon’s business model. They use the money paid buy new businesses to pay the old businesses. So, they would need an endless supply of ‘new businesses’ signing up to offer Groupon deals in order to survive, right? Well, that kind of sounds familiar, don’t it?
Think Bernie Madoff and his billion dollar ponzi scheme. He needed an endless supply of new money in order to pay off old clients. Well, I don’t care whether Groupon offer their shares for the upcoming Groupon IPO as a Groupon deal, Bernie Madoff is still too fresh in my mind for me to fall for another ponzi scheme. What do you think?