What’s better than telling your friends about Groupon? Giving them some Groupon Bucks to spend!
Groupon exists for two reasons: to create serums that increase its employees’ heights and to give our subscribers all the motivation they need to go out and try something new in their city. Now that all Groupon employees are well over nine-and-half-feet tall, we’re happy to start providing even more local content from local writers who focus on what’s happening in their ‘hoods. We’re calling it “Tweets Around Town,” because all of our writers are tired.
We’ll be featuring Tweeters who write about experiences that can only be had in their hometown—dance parties, gallery openings, Bronson Pinchot impersonation conventions—right on the front page of Groupon. We’ve got a limited number of slots, so if that sounds like you, or you know someone who tweets about local events, [drop us a line](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org). Groupon is always looking for new ways to expose our readers to dangerous amounts of local activities, because houses are boring and should be left as often as possible.
With our monthly photo contest in full swing, we’re seeing some great examples of Groupons in action! This month, Danica Duensing caught our eye with this shot at [Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum](http://www.madametussauds.com/) in Hollywood, CA with “Wolverine.”
Danica told us:
> I bought the Groupons for Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum because my brother and sister-in-law were coming into town from Wisconsin. My boyfriend, me, my brother and sister-in-law went, and we had a great time! I’m glad Madame Tussaud’s decided to partner with Groupon, because now that we know how much fun the wax museum is, we’ll definitely be going back!
Danica won $100 in Groupon credit to spend on more exciting adventures. Send your entries to [email@example.com](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org), and make sure to include the Groupon in your picture to be eligible!
–but that doesn’t stop us from making our own. After this week’s visit to St. Louis’ own Contemporary Art Museum we felt inspired to start the Groupon Cafeteria Museum of Contemporary Mind-Blowing Statements About Society. The following exhibits are currently on display (no passes or vouchers):
Last week, we asked our customers to [help the Chicago Food Depository feed families in need](http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/help-the-chicago-food-depository-win-a-5k-matching-grant). If donations reached $5,000 by the end of Halloween (or as the Druids called it, “Administrative Assistant’s Day”), Jim and Kay Mabie and Anne and Brent Peterson promised to match the donation. If we didn’t reach $5,000, our plan was to egg all of your houses.
Well, we are delighted to announce that you generous gentlefolk made it happen and then some. After just two days, the total came to $5,060, so the Chicago Food Depository will be receiving $10,120. That’s enough to feed 40,000 people this holiday season. Just this past year, the Food Depository distributed over 58 million pounds of food to half a million families, children, seniors, and other needy people all over the country.
Thanks to everyone who donated! We hope you’ll continue to support the Food Depository throughout this holiday season and beyond. Almost 90,000 people rely on the Food Depository for food every week, so they can always use your help.
_CHICAGO, 11/2/09_: [Groupon](http://www.groupon.com)
— America’s premiere website for thinking about doing stuff and then deciding to do it — just turned one million subscribers old.
“When we started Groupon last November,” writes founder and haircut magnate Andrew Mason, “We had one goal in mind — Solar colonization. Did we find the sun was able to support human life? Yes, yes we did. But did we lose a lot of men to do it?
[Long silence. Mason stares out window at sun.]
“But to have our back-up plan [a website offering deals that encourage people to explore cool things to do in their city] connect with this many people in such a short time, it’s mind-blowing,” says Mason. “Hopefully, as we continue to expand and come up with new ways to engage our loyal fans, we’ll have many million more next year.”
Andrew Mason then disturbed witnesses by taking a hearty bite from his own hand, which he revealed to be a prop hand made of taffy and was unavailable for comment for the better part of an hour due to “hand re-patching.”
But Groupon is more than just [America's Best Website](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM900B8gNv8). We’re rolling out new features like a little invention we’re calling “Gift Cards.” As easily as purchasing a Groupon for one’s lovable self, you can pass the deals on to another, in any denomination, to be redeemed on their own next Groupon purchase. From sushi to skydiving, get your loved ones the gift they really want— a thing that they forgot to tell you what it is.
But how does giving to others help you? That’s where the referral program comes in. Subscribers can now receive Groupon credit for each friend they convince to buy a Groupon.
“Now that we have such a huge, established audience, Groupon wanted to make it easy for our fans to do their shopping during the holiday season,” said Mason, through a mouthful of taffy-hand. “And since word-of-mouth is the cornerstone to our success, it made sense to reward people for telling their friends about us.”
Groupon subscribers receive free daily emails alerting them to an exclusive deal from a top local business (restaurant, spa, indoor activity, the World’s Largest of something, etc.), but these deals only go into effect if a minimum number of people agree to buy, “just like clapping to bring Tinkerbell back to life,” adds a scientist.
This naturally encourages subscribers to share the deal with family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, yelling, and other social media tools, generating new customers as they rope in awesome friends to try new restaurants, keep each other in check with their new gym memberships, or watch each other’s backs in Laser-tag. After only a year in business, Groupon has saved its subscribers more than $26 million Earth dollars while generating much more for local businesses, and having enough left-over to construct our weather machine.
“Groupon brings buyers and sellers together in a fun and collaborative way,” said Mason, from his taffy-coma plastic detox incubator. “We offer the consumer a great deal they can’t get anywhere else and deliver the sales directly to the merchant.” Andrew Mason then exploded into a ball of white light, due to the molecular vibrations triggered by his obscene sugar consumption. Witnesses report that the phenomenon “was beautiful” and smelled “exactly like cotton candy.”
_Groupon, launched in November 2008 in Chicago, features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, eat, see, and buy in major cities across the U.S., with plans to be in at least 25 cities by the end of 2009. Groupon uses collective buying power to offer unbeatable prices and provide a win-win for businesses and consumers._
This week we investigated San Diego’s [Gulf Coast Grill](http://www.groupon.com/san-diego/deals/gulf-coast-grill#voice), which to our surprise, is not located in the Gulf Coast. In fact, the Gulf Coast region you know and love was not the first “Gulf Coast”:
Today, the Gulf Coast region is composed of the five U.S. states that border the Gulf of Mexico—but that was not always the case. The five original Gulf States—New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and America Jr.—were known as the Gulf States because “Gulf” once meant “highfalutin” and did not refer to a body of water. This was also when Philadelphia was a state and “four” and “five” meant the same thing.
Soon, however, the popular usage of “Gulf” shifted, and the states that were near the Water-Gulf of Mexico took the mantle of Gulf States. Unfortunately, history has not been kind to the original Gulf States: New York was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire; New Jersey is currently 80% covered in water parks; Philadelphia lost its statehood in a friendly World Series bet between governors; and America, Jr. became Portugal.
This week at Groupon we traveled to Atlanta, where we unearthed evidence of a [secret feud between ancient rivals](http://www.groupon.com/atlanta/deals/atlanta-hawks-20#voice):
**Hawks vs. Wizards**
The feud between hawks and wizards dates back millennia. Recently unearthed cobalt tablets reveal the chronology of their bitter war of magics:
200 AD: Azamoth of the Firstwind and his trusty hawk, Bringer, lay eyes on the same scrumptious cherry blossom. But before Azamoth can pop it in his mouth, Bringer snatches it from his hand and gobbles it up himself. The war is begun.
1290: The seemingly indefatigable Thunderclaw Hawkfleet, as led by General Peregrine Skychild, guard the northern sky like an impenetrable web of knives, ready to reduce any opponent to tatters—that is, any opponent they can see. Abercrombie of the Sparkling Air sneaks past them under a Guise of Refractability, carrying in the Six Forbidden Charms of Resistance, unimpeded.
1774: An unstable continent to the west becomes a refuge for desperate, emigrating hawks, many of which do not survive the transatlantic flight, despite the aid of their amulets. A bloodthirsty faction of wizards, however, is quick to follow, and the ensuing battle in the new world becomes the perfect smokescreen for the birth of a young republic.
1958 The hawks battle the wizards for the first time in human form, winning in double overtime against a coven of Stonehenge-worshipping Druids who had cleverly renamed themselves the Boston Celtics.
Too bashful to talk to that cutie across the room? In Phoenix, we discovered [this](http://www.groupon.com/phoenix/deals/earleys-flowers#voice) Fill-In-the-Blanks Missed Connection Ad Generator to help track him/her down in the local paper for later connectioning:
I saw you at the (_location_). You were wearing a (_color_) (_name of band_) (_clothing item_). I was the (_description of height_) (_gender_) (_verb_)-ing against a (_model of car from the mid-90s_). We made eye contact, but I was too (_synonym for scared_) to talk to you. I badly (_verb_)-ed myself on that samurai sword that someone hid in the (_unlikely place for a samurai sword_). (_Modal verb_) (_pronoun_) like to (_verb_) (_noun_) at (_non-threatening neutral location_) and (_verb_) (_our imagined mutual interest in name of band from clothing item_)?
I’m excited to announce that Jason Fried has joined Groupon’s Board of Directors. Jason is the founder of [37signals](http://www.37signals.com), as well as the co-author of two books and the popular [Signal vs.Noise](http://37signals.com/svn) design blog.
Anyone who’s started a web business knows that you don’t get very far before running into Jason’s work. _[Getting Real](http://gettingreal.37signals.com/)_ — sort of _The Elements of Style_ for building websites — was the first book I read when starting [The Point](http://www.thepoint.com). And [Campfire](http://campfirenow.com/), 37signals’ group chat application, was among the first charges on the company credit card. Almost three years later, we still use it every day.
As Groupon continues to grow, we want to be surrounded by smart people of diverse backgrounds, with strong opinions that they aren’t shy about expressing. That’s why we asked Jason to join our board. Few have been as successful as Jason at creating tools that people love to use, or building a brand that stands for something greater than the utility of its products.
It’s been a tremendous year for Groupon, and Jason’s guidance helps assure that many more will follow.