Behind the Deals: Cubicle Decoration

Groupon employees are all about self-expression—especially when they’re expressing themselves within the sanctioned self-expression outlets prescribed to them on their first day. Among the most popular techniques is **cubicle decoration**, and among the most popular cubicle decorations are the following:

  • Mini poster of cat clinging to a baby, with caption reading “Hang on to that baby!”
  • Dilbert-Calendar-of-the-Day Day Calendar featuring a different classic Dilbert Day Calendar every calendar day
  • One of those little cactuses. Cacti? Cactuses.
  • Autographed photo of your family
  • Toys? At work? I think I’m going to like it here.

G-Team and 826CHI

A lot of work and fun went into many of today’s Groupon write ups. Our G-Team and editorial department worked hand in hand with 826CHI, a group that encourages students to develop a unique writing voice, something for which Groupon is well known. After a series of workshops at the Groupon office, 826CHI students authored many of the Chicago deals featured on June 28.

Groupon’s Managing Editor, Brandon Copple, took the time to tell us about the experience:

We had three workshops, on consecutive Saturdays in June, with 18 kids, grades 5-8, from the 826CHI writing program. Each week a different group of 18 or so Groupon writers/editors came down to work with the kids.

The curriculum was designed by details writer Jill Klostermann, a former 2nd-grade teacher. She took a kernel of an idea and turned it into an incredible experience for the kids and writers. Jill also led the workshops. She knows how to work with kids…how to make sure they have fun but also do what you want. She was nothing short of amazing on this.

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David Gray Exclusive Digital Release

Our mother always told us that you haven’t really made it unless a critically acclaimed rocker releases an album exclusively on your website. Coincidentally, David Gray has a new album out today, and the only place you can get it is HERE on Groupon.com (Hi, mom).

The album, Lost and Found-Live in Dublin 2011 has 12 songs recorded live in Dublin earlier this spring. David Gray is coming off a big year, with two top ten debuting albums, multiple top 10 singles and 3 tours of the US. The live album is a new way to hear David Gray’s music as 7 different instruments, from cello to guitar, are highlighted on the updated arrangements.  Additionally, Groupon subscribers can download a free track from the album before purchasing this Groupon.

Earthquake Relief Update

After the coast of Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake, countless recovery efforts from communities and charity organizations worked together to help those affected by this tragedy. Groupon paired with the International Medical Corps, a group of health professionals dedicated to global support and relief, who dispatched response teams and supplies to mitigate the hardship and suffering.

Photo: Kasper Nybo/International Medical Corps

We received an update from Rebecca Milner, Vice President of Institutional Advancement within the International Medical Corps, about how the funds raised are helping communities slowly recover:

I wanted to share with you and your colleagues at Groupon the latest update on International Medical Corps emergency response in Japan.  Groupon was instrumental to our success – thank you again for promoting our work.  The [G-Team] campaign was so great for us on so many levels…

As you well know, three months ago this week, a 9.0-earthquake – the fourth largest globally since 1900 – struck off the coast of Japan, triggering a tsunami that buried coastal villages in a wall of water. An estimated 23,000 people lost their lives and while the waters have long receded, the devastation and loss is still paralyzing.

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The Groupon Guide to the "Quiet Period"

At the bottom of each Daily Groupon feature, users can find Groupon the Cat, slouching majestically across a cloud of pure wisdom. Groupon dispenses ancient truisms that still have relevance to our modern lives, as evidenced by today’s entry:

The “Quiet Period” is the time right before a company “goes public,” during which it is legally prohibited from saying anything to the press that may make the company look “good,” “successful,” or “not currently on fire.” During this sensitive time, it is the duty of the press to force the adolescent company through a series of brutal hazing rituals, designed to desensitize it to public criticism. This tough love helps the naively optimistic company to thicken its skin, atrophy its soul, and finally grow up into a real corporation. Here are some traditional hazing rituals you can use to torture companies in a quiet period:

  • Wait until the company is sleeping to smear scream-activated bees on its face. Lesson Learned: Don’t believe your company’s own “buzz.”
  • Photoshop the company’s logo to appear to be shaking hands with James Buchanan, America’s worst president. Lesson Learned: Everything you see or read about a company is true, if it’s on a computer.
  • Use the company’s cell phone to text a vote for the new M&M’s color to be a sickly ashen gray. Lesson Learned: Customers aren’t capable of making their own decisions.
  • Kick sand in the company’s face. Lesson Learned: If the company survives, it’s time to move on to sand’s close relative, powdered glass.
  • Write disparaging articles about the company. Lesson Learned: That’s what they get for trying to be a company.

Meet a Groupon Employee

Though Groupon culture is best witnessed in person, wearing goggles to shield your eyes from sparks, we’ve asked a few of our eclectic, hard working employees to answer a few questions about what makes them tick.

Name: Shawn

**Dept./Position:**  Customer Support

**Other Talents Include:** I’m a writer and performer and all sorts of other things.

**What should people know about Groupon?**
We want you to have a good time and we want to help you. The whole company is kind of built on that basic foundation, so people should know that we’re very approachable when it comes to things like having an issue using a Groupon or needing help figuring out how to redeem it.

**How high can you jump and why?**
I don’t jump for height, I jump for distance. You can put that quote on my IMDB page (please let me have an IMDB page).

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Behind the Deals: Business Development

Our editorial department brings you yet another installment of “Behind the Deals” on this very Wednesday.

Groupon is testing the veracity of the old adage “You’ve got to spend money to make money” by spending a bunch of money and then seeing if it cytogenetically divides into new money. The company has an entire business-development department dedicated to finding new and creative ways to turn a profit. Their recent projects include:

* Burying a burlap sack filled with gold coins behind the office to see if it sprouts into a dollar tree
* Catching fish for a hundred men, teaching another hundred men how to fish, doing nothing for a control group of a hundred men, and then comparing their yearly salaries/amount of fish caught after six months
* Boosting worker productivity by giving every employee a high-tech cyber-typewriter called a “compute-ter”
* Introducing Super Groupons that charge double a product or service’s value instead of half
* By reading this sentence, from now on even just thinking about a Groupon is a legally binding agreement that you will purchase it. Thanks!

Breakout of the Year Webby

Last night Groupon was honored with the “Breakout of the Year” Webby Award. In the company of such innovative masters of the great WWW, we were happy to be a part of such a celebration.

The Webby Awards are know for their brevity and allow winners a 5-word acceptance speech:

We also took home awards for Best Retail and the People’s Voice Award. Thanks to everyone for your support!

Bike to Work Week

Groupon is participating in the Bike Commuter Challenge with the Active Transportation Alliance this week in an effort to encourage employees to don their helmets and learn about the benefits of cycling to work.

Bike to Work Week Team Leaders - Suits and Helmets Day

The first day proved to be a success as bikes were parked–some would say crammed–in every possible location outside Groupon headquarters. Extra bike racks have been installed to accommodate the additional commuters and riders took full advantage of them this morning. In just one day, 126 people biked to work.

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Live Stream the Webby Awards

Thanks to your support, next Monday Groupon heads to the Webby Awards!

We asked if it was possible to add enough seating for all those who voted for us, but due to fire code regulations and respect for others’ personal space, they advised we just give you the option to live stream the event.

Head to Groupon’s Facebook page and click the “Watch Webbys Live” tab on the left side. We’ll be streaming the broadcast for you there starting at 8PM EST on Monday, June 13th.