Why I Hate Groupon
This post has been brewing inside me for a couple of months now. I think it started when I heard that Groupon had turned down a $6 billion buyout offer from Google. I couldn't see how these guys could turn down $6 billion. Maybe they had other ideas for the company—a grand vision to jump-start humanity and right the world's wrongs. I doubt it. We're not talking about Twitter or Facebook, here. Groupon is a damn coupon company.
Now here's why I hate Groupon:
1. Groupon is all about consumption. "We want you to buy and buy now." It doesn't make a difference what it is...just get out there and buy it. This model is just so archaic that in a time where conservation and sustainability, not endless consumption, should be in the front of our minds—Groupon is about just the opposite. Remember the attitude that put this country in insurmountable credit card debt a few years ago. It was all about stuff, more stuff, and more stuff on top of that. The Pied Piper has been here and gone...and we don't need him back any time soon.
2. Not only is Groupon about consumption, they don't care what they fling at you. They are non-discriminatory carnival barkers. In a world of the Long Tail and focused marketing, we expect not to be bombarded by irrelevant advertising—but Groupon's all about it. I'm 52 years old and I don't want to marketed diapers. Been there and done that. My data is flying all over the place—grab some of it and tell me about things that might matter to me. I have to manage enough information as it is...don't spam me.
3. Groupon is a one night stand for businesses. Now I know I shouldn't feel sorry for the lemmings out there masquerading as business owners—but I kind of do. How can you not be mesmerized by all the attention and media fawning Groupon's been getting? "If I don't jump on I'll miss the chance to be part of the "second coming." If a merchant is lucky, a Groupon promotion will bring in a surge of traffic. The business better be ready to handle this influx. If they're not, not only will they not get repeat business—they'll get negative word of mouth.