Re: The Groupon model
What shocks me most is that Groupon manage to make so little money on this parasitic model!
It has high acquisition costs - it generally requires real people to go out to those small businesses to setup the deals. And, as companies keep on getting burned by the experience it keeps on doing the same thing.
The key flaw in the business model, as your rightly point out, is that it is parasitic, ie. businesses suffer over time from it. I think there is some underlying sense in trying to improve yields of capacity but think this is limited to services with low customer retention such as restaurants, hotels and taxis. So, services like opentable, the endless hotel services and the new taxi services are likely to do well. But they will do so by improving the yield, which benefits both customer and service provider, and not by promising unsustainable discounts.