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Showing posts from November, 2011

What's so hard about "read the fine print?"

Interesting article today from alarm:clock , complaining about perceived fraud about a deal they purchased from Gilt City for Virgin America flights. Normally, I'd comment right on the site, but that was not an option. In essence, the author is using "Virgin America" and "fraud" as linkbait to, as they fully acknowledge, get a refund. All for the power of the free Internet press; good luck. My issue here is that they are clearly overlooking the main details: No one made them buy the deal. The deal stated, clearly, among the frankly terrifyingly large amount of fine print: Offer is final sale and nonrefundable. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. Travel must occur between August 15, 2011 and June 15, 2012. Honestly, looking at the sheer quantity of conditions to this deal, I would not (and did not) buy it. However, the author did. And then, while acknowledging that they were cognizant of the terms, and that th

Commercial check ins

Pretty cool idea from Shopkick: give people rewards for "checking in" to a given commercial on tv. Great brand approach. If it works, look for Shazam and IntoNow to want to replicate, but without Shopkick's currency, I see it being an uphill battle.

Next Way To Get Daily Deals: Games

GigaOm has a post today about CrowdMob . Basically, a mobile gaming platform that, instead of selling you upgraded characters or subscription fees, requires you to buy local daily deals instead. Pretty interesting idea: the customer gets what they want, but it will require a critical mass of offers, as the deal has to appeal to the purchaser. If there is only one deal, it has a limited chance of that. Having said that, it's actually a very innovative approach. After all, local is inherently connected with mobile, and mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing segments, especially among the same demographics who purchase local deals. And it offers gamers a chance to actually get what they want, and have reasons to try the businesses. One quibble, though: the article states "... by allowing merchants to redeem a deal through a variety of methods without having to take a paper coupon, ". This makes it seem that the burden of having to take a paper voucher is one tha

Haters Need Not Invest

This week, after false starts, drama, and much gnashing of teeth, Groupon went public on NASDAQ this week. IPO is always a time where the hype gets turned up a little high, but this was fairly exceptional, especially the spewing of vitriol about the company, their business and the fallacy of any investors foolish enough to go anywhere near the stock. Some samples: " Investing in Groupon is like investing in a leaky bucket. " - Rocky Agarwal, most vocal Groupon critic. " Enjoy the ride, Groupon investors! I'm outta here! " - Henry Blodget, Editor in Chief, Business Insider. And that doesn't begin to take into account the torrent on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It's almost personal...and almost all of it is so hyper emotional, it ignores the basics and the fundamentals of investing. Before I dive in, some caveats and clear statements. I am an executive of a company that provides similar services to Groupon's Daily Deal services to the m