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Posted by Sucharita Mulpuru on February 18, 2011
At the risk of someone saying I can’t let this Groupon thing go (I can’t), I saw a fascinating graphic the other day. Groupon has, as its proponents like to tell everyone they meet, the dubious distinction of being the fastest company to get to $1B in sales. Why I say dubious (and what I found fascinating about the graphic) is that the second-fastest ever to achieve the same milestone was none other than Priceline. How apropos because I can’t resist pointing out the similarities:
Commonalities aside, perhaps the even bigger insights come from some of the lessons from Priceline over the last decade:
Priceline, to its credit, wasn’t a dot-com flameout, and its economics today are promising. Its stock has quintupled in the past two years. It does provide a benefit to suppliers because it can protect brands, to a certain degree, from being routinely price-shopped. It just took a bit longer than its proponents from 1999 expected it would take to get to where it is. Maybe, just maybe, Groupon will have it easier, and get it right, faster than Priceline.