The Groupon Model Of Life

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Do you want to know what life will look like 10 years from now? Ya me too.

The obsession with what is next can often consume you to the point of madness. Figuring out the next “big thing” could be what drives you to being apart of the next big thing. The race to success is what is on peoples minds and unfortunately what is missing is the focus on what is to come.

I would describe the current race that we are in today as the groupon model way of life. Groupon simply lives on the idea that we (groupon) have influence with customers so you should come to us for help to get your business in front of users. Groupon paints the picture of “win win” for everyone. You get more business and the consumer gets great deals. What a great system for gaining traction right? But what is starting to surface is the lose lose for businesses. The profit is low and the return is almost zero (some whould disagree, like this site here). Simply put, groupon has become a quick and easy way for businesses to take the easy out for instant gratification. The implications from this are huge.

We live in a society today that knows how to talk. From discussion of politics, sports, or social media, everyone is an expert (this blog post is a great example of what I am talking about). The groupon model of life that flows from this noise is people start looking for a short sale for life and influence. The chance to do minimal work to get tons of reward is not far from peoples minds. But just as groupon will simple fade away because they will be of no value to business (and maybe even consumers), this idea of doing little to have a big impact will leave anyone that subscribes to this model feeling the same way.

Ten years from now the pretenders will be separated and the people who executed ideas will still be around. Why? Because those that executed did not look for shortcuts to fame and influence. Instead they started to lay the groundwork, the foundation that will allow them to stand strong in 2020. There are no shortcuts to gain instant fill in the blank. Instead there are people who see well beyond tomorrow and into the future and have something bigger then the moment to drive them forward.

The groupon model looks great today, but after closer examination you start to realize just how flawed it is (and how much money they are losing. Like millions of dollars, read more here).

I am not interested in what will bring me instant success today, I am interested in how can have lasting influence for the rest of my life. And having someone else “promise to deliver” that for me is not what will help me have that impact. The groupon model of life might look great today because it seems that everyone now has more twitter followers, more readers, and more money, but after you examine the ways they got to where they are today you start to realize that they are living on a house of cards and it is soon to collapse.

I am interested in lasting influence, how about you?

Gary Vaynerchuck talks about being in it for 2015. I think this is applicable to what we are talking about here:


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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Adam Lehman

    LOVE IT!

    When people are racing towards cheap, they’re racing for the bottom. My belief is that companies can utilize Groupon (and similar services)  to grow their customer base if they do it correct. However, if you’re a masseuse in Columbus, OH; your groupon customers are probably only looking for a cheap 30 minute massage. 

    A much better strategy – especially if you’re aiming at 2015 – would be to operate in such a remarkable way that your current customers can’t help but tell their friends. Be so amazing that your customers would feel like they’re doing a disservice by not spreading the word. 

    Same for churches. Larry Osborne writes in “Sticky Teams” & Sticky Church” that his church went from spending a LOT on “marketing” to simply aiming at being such a strong community that members of that community were compelled to spread the word. Their church grew. 

    Great post!

    • @kylereed

      Man, lots of great thoughts in here Adam. great stuff man.

      I agree, the word of mouth has to win out over cheap tricks and instant. 
      that is the only way to “win”

  • Jason Vana

    There definitely is an instant gratification mindset in many Americans. It was funny (or maybe sad) – when my buddy from Czech visited me last year, he made the comment that everything here is drive-through: banks, restaurants, coffee shops. It’s like we are unwilling to wait even 5 minutes more to get out of our cars and into a building. Sad really.

    • @kylereed

      ya it is

  • Graham

    I agree with you

  • Jeremy Statton

    I have never jumped onto the groupon bandwagon. What you are saying makes sense. It never seems good to sacrifice long term gain and priorities for short term profit. 

    I know someone who does this with his blog. He engineers every blog post to be as SEO friendly as possible. His stats have sky rocketed in a short period of time, but I am not convinced this represents true followers or conversions. SEO optimization should not be ignored, but it is not the primary goal when you write.