Google Might Buy Groupon – Here’s Why It Won’t Matter

The rumors swirled today on an announcement (or actually, question) that Google might buy Groupon for an epic $2.5 billion or more. Tweets flickered, Facebook messages lit up email inboxes and I’m sure some other people couldn’t have cared less. And they rightly shouldn’t care. Because when it comes down to the wire, a Groupon acquisition by Google has little to no impact on anyone else.

First, Groupon operates entirely independently as a group-buying dealer. While Groupon competitors – almost all of them – write not only for their own label but as white label for others, Groupon has determined to be and is reliant entirely upon Groupon’s own success. And successful have they been. Regardless of Google buying them, too. Will it matter, if Groupon is bought out? Actually, it’s probably better for “the little guys” – now, at least Groupon won’t buy them out.

Also, there’s been a little chatter about the impact on location based services. One thing to clear up: Groupon has nothing to do with things like Foursquare or Facebook Places. The only longshot comparison is Facebook Deals – which had been a bit of a threat to Groupon, but a Google acquisition means Google can incorporate Google Places with Groupon to fend off Facebook. But this is notably NOT about being a location-based service; but rather offering hyper-local coupons to users while they search for local interests. Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl, and even Facebook Places will see no impact.

Google, of course, does happen to be developing quite a competitive stronghold against Apple in the smartphone OS market. Does this mean Groupon will become location based through further development of Google Places to look something like Facebook Deals (but better?) Will Droid users be forced to consume group buying coupons, or hyper-local deals? Sure, it could happen. But it doesn’t matter, because the iPhone still maintains three times more market share than the Android OS. And almost 2/3 of people still run something else on their phone. It just won’t affect many people in the near future, and those who it will affect probably won’t care. They may actually like it.

And then there’s the fact a Google and Groupon merger is still a rumor, albeit an expensive one. If the Google-Groupon merger comes to fruition, will you look forward to any new features? Or will the potential new Google-Groupon really have no impact on us – and we should all move on?

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  • Anonymous

    No question answered here. Just speculation. Move on. Really poor grammar, too. He needs an editor.

  • Anonymous

    No question answered here. Just speculation. Move on. Really poor grammar, too. He needs an editor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allan-Thompson/1382772868 Allan Thompson

    Juvenile theorising… how does he think that the pyramids were built or modern roads set out?
    Has he even heard of land surveying and triangulation?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allan-Thompson/1382772868 Allan Thompson

    Juvenile theorising… how does he think that the pyramids were built or modern roads set out?
    Has he even heard of land surveying and triangulation?

  • Jacob Burrell

    +1

  • Jacob Burrell

    +1

  • Anonymous

    The question proposed has merit, regardless of what the “poor grammar” and “didn’t answer the question” people say. Often times mathematics is viewed as something we discovered, but in some respects it only serves as an organized way of interpreting the manifestations of the universe. It is like an extremely well built bridge between objective and subjective reality. The question is: Did we build this bridge or just stumble upon it? Maybe it’s one of those naturally occurring land bridge-rock formation things. Whoa, my grammar was terrible in that last sentence. I digress. :-)

  • Anonymous

    The question proposed has merit, regardless of what the “poor grammar” and “didn’t answer the question” people say. Often times mathematics is viewed as something we discovered, but in some respects it only serves as an organized way of interpreting the manifestations of the universe. It is like an extremely well built bridge between objective and subjective reality. The question is: Did we build this bridge or just stumble upon it? Maybe it’s one of those naturally occurring land bridge-rock formation things. Whoa, my grammar was terrible in that last sentence. I digress. :-)

  • Ron Brunton

    Well written and presented. While I fully agree with the importance of science education, its role in public education has been deminished by funding cuts and restricted by political pressures.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kweinkauf Ken Weinkauf

    My grandfather used to say, “Stop and think.” He was a big advocate for taking things slowly, not reacting, and making informed decisions arrived at by his great mind. His tutelage has been with me my whole life and now that I am as old as he was when he said it to me, I say it to my grandchildren. And so the cycle continues…

  • Barry Etheridge

    “Both examples are symptoms of a general failure of our educational system (schools and parenting) to teach scientific reasoning. ”

    Sadly I feel your equation of science teaching with the propagation of scientific reasoning is itself ‘irrational’. Studies have shown again and again that even science graduates are not necessarily any better at the application of reason to their observations and experience than anyone else.

    The truth is that ‘irrationality’ has served us well as a species in the evolutionary stakes at least in so far as it encourages a ‘better safe than sorry’ attitude. It is not for nothing that the enduring image of ‘rationality’ in our society is the ‘mad scientist’ as the benefits of rational thinking only appear to be the devising of ever more subtle yet efficient way of killing others, ourselves, and the planet.

    Human beings will always be Kirk and not Spock, reactors not thinkers, and the failure of ‘rational’ and ‘logical’ people to recognise that serves only to make them more ‘alien’, suspicious and dangerous. Irritating as it may be the fact is that nobody was ever injured by NOT using a piece of equipment that emits electromagnetic radiation and, no matter how safe science may deem cellphone technology, you simply can’t get safer than that!

    So I’m afraid that I simply cannot accept your thesis that anything unusual or different “has been happening in the US since about 1980″ which is merely special pleading on your part for the promotion of science over arts as far as I can see. Emotion and bandwagoning always has been the prime mover in politics amongst the electorate and always will be whether every man woman and child is steeped in scientific thinking or not.

    And, whether you like it or not this is as true of scientists themselves as any other group. I’m sure it is comforting (to say nothing of self-aggrandising) to depict the debates over Darwin’s theories or global warming (to quote but two of a thousand such arguments) as ‘right’ against ‘wrong’, ‘intelligence’ against ‘ignorance’ and so on but this is a blatant lie. One only has to view the current rationalist ‘hero’ Richard Dawkins in action disparaging the work of Stephen Jay Gould or go back to the vile personal attacks of Newton on Hooke to see that there is nothing especially ‘rational’ about the conduct of science however indisputable the results may turn out to be.

    In an age where most scientific ‘breakthroughs’ are now largely mythological in nature (the Higgs Boson, dark matter etc. which ‘have to be there’ to validate our models even though there may never be any physical evidence for their existence whatsoever) science is teetering on the edge of becoming a parody of itself and we can hardly blame ordinary people for being less than convinced that it’s even vaguely relevant to everyday life.

    When all is said and done, if a piano is falling on your head, the logical thing to do is run like hell not calculate its acceleration due to gravity (taking into account air resistance, of course) and whether it was initially high enough to reach terminal velocity!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bernhard-Muller/100002813878376 Bernhard Muller

    I think you are at least a century too late in your appraisal of when the widespread failure of “scientifically based” thinking occurred. I refer to Marx and his ideas about economics. They have been tried multiple times and always failed. And, as you say, today we have political parties that continue to push Marxian ideas against all evidence of their not working.

  • Craig DeForest

    @Barry, you may have missed my original point, which is that scientific reasoning is *not* commonly taught as part of any curriculum at present. As for 1980, I was referring to the alliance between the Republican party and the “religious right” to secure Reagan’s election, which profoundly changed the policies of that party (Why, for example, should everything be subject to deregulation except how women treat their own reproductive systems? The laissez-faire market dogma is at least motivated by traditional economic conservatism; the hyper-regulation of individuals is the opposite of laissez-faire politics.) I do not mean to judge the positions, here, merely to highlight the inconsistency of the dogma. That inconsistency is a historical accident of a particular set of strategic decisions that made the Reagan-era Republican party so successful.

    And, of course, I’m in full agreement with you about how scientists comport themselves — though I only mentioned it in passing in the original note. What is amazing is that the system of scientific inquiry works so demonstrably well despite the foibles of its practitioners.

    @Bernhard, I believe you may be arguing about a political strawman. Nobody (in a position to do anything about it) is advocating anything like Marxism in America these days. The American political mainstream in 2010 would have appeared reactionary in 1970, and still appears so compared to the mainstream throughout the rest of Western civilization. Nevertheless, limited socialism (lowercase “s”) appears, despite our dogma, to be working just fine in Europe and in Canada — 12 counterexamples to “always failed”, if you like. A few weeks ago I heard Glen Beck musing about how great it would be if America were more like the 1950s, when nuclear families were the norm and the middle class was strong. But during the 1950s the New Deal was just reaching its full strength, and the corporate income tax rate was around 70%. Of course U.S. corporations were also entering the most prosperous economic period in history. I mention these things to point out that socialist policies regulating laissez-faire economics are not just stupid — they appear to frequently coincide with a large, thriving middle class and economic growth — something that many of us would like to preserve.

    Anyway, my beef is about lack of critical reasoning, not particularly about politics — except that one political party, in particular, seems to reject critical reasoning out-of-hand when it is inconvenient. I have no tolerance for “know-nothings”, and neither should you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bernhard-Muller/100002813878376 Bernhard Muller

    @Craig. We clearly have areas of agreement and areas of disagreement.

    Agreement: we do not teach our children critical thinking skills, or any semblance of the scientific method. I have taught at the post doctoral level at a major university, and have been amazed at the lack of understanding/knowledge/use of the scientific method in my students. Of course, the fault must lie with the preparation they have received in prior years.

    Disagreement: this is, clearly, a side issue. But I do not think the socialist/collectivist system in Europe is working terribly well at present; and many countries have backed off from some of their more collectivist policies. I don’t see Europe as a good counter argument to my “collectivism fails” thesis. And, when it suits them, the Democrats also ignore facts. If you wish, I will list instances, but I won’t’ do it now as that is not the thrust of this thread.