Groupon: Google, you can’t have everything

Groupon rejects Google takeoverSo the latest buzz is, of course, all about the two big G’s: Groupon vs. Google.

It’s a battle for the new business age. An interesting duel that has no doubt left Google with a bitter taste in its mouth after Groupon’s rumored rejection of the search monster’s $6 billion bid.

Take a second to think about what I just said – Just two years into existence, this rookie online local marketing phenom has built an empire that Google (which pretty much runs the world at this point) is willing to offer $6 billion to own. Which means that the nice people at Google probably think Groupon is worth even more than that – or at least to them it would be.

They may still publicly be going through negotiations, but we think the subtext sounds a lot more like this…

Groupon: Na na nana na! No deal!

Google: Well sh*t!!

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Printed books (sales) are so last century

Are things looking grim for the publishing industry? Well, it’s all a matter of how you look at it. Technically, people are still reading books. That’s for certain. Just look at the incredible popularity  of Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook. They’re undeniable successes by any account. Amazon posted that its e-book sales increased by 163 % in May, a year-to-date increase of a whopping 207%. So see, we’re still reading. Who ever said Americans are getting dumber? (Yeah, I probably come back to eat those words later!)

So then why would the printing industry be concerned? It’s an interesting conundrum, really, when you look at the numbers. Yes, the written word is still as popular as ever, but in a different format. It seems that e-book sales are way out-pacing those of their more tactile cousins – the traditional print version. Amazon claims that e-books have outsold print books by 43% over the last three months. Wowza, that’s a lot of downloading!

Why are the high-tech titles selling like hot cakes? Well, there are a few perks. E-books tend to be cheaper for us consumers than buying the book in the flesh – although some would argue that the production price is still surprisingly high despite a lack of physical nature. What does “cheaper” really mean? Well let’s play devil’s advocate here and look at the list price for, say, “Breaking Dawn,” the fourth book in the Twilight sage (not that I’m condoning people actually reading the Twilight saga!) Cover price may be $14.99, but who every pays the list price? You can get a paperback edition for $8.99, which in this case is actually less than the kindle copy at $10.99. Continue reading

When Bargain Shopping Meets Business

I admit it proudly and without hesitation – I’m a bargain shopper. For as long as I can remember I’ve lived under the mantra that most things aren’t worth my money at full price when I can get them somewhere else on sale. And while I’ve spent most of my life checking price tags, I’ve noticed more comradery in the bargain world lately. While college graduates move back in with their parents, working families opt to carpool, and the Salisbury steak makes a comeback, home life minimalism starts to reflect the increasingly barren business world. Continue reading