I got an idea- give me $500 and I'll start the next Groupon.
Look at this list of ways to start your own Groupon-style website.
Yep, if want to go into business in the deal of the day realm all we need is sales people to go out and find 300-some odd deals for a particular area and make sure that it is promoted in a manner to get people to signup for it.
Oh wait, that's right: Groupon is a glorified email list. Most people don't realize that Groupon started as a Wordpress site that offered one deal. Of course, the idea stuck and grew. Why? Because people WANTED the deal. They were willing to trade their email (no cost) for POSSIBLE deals.
It takes sales people and writers to make those ads (although it seems a waste, do people REALLY need to be talked into something they signed up for?)
This is what Google wanted in the deal. The online tech and what not is pointless. Google has that. If you have a small business, claim your Google Place and you can OFFER deals to your hearts content from Google's map listing and right where EVERYONE does most of their Yellowpage searching from.
Google wanted the manpower and the lists. That's all. The "deal of the day" mechanism is easily replicated- Heck, the last one in the list above is an OPEN SOURCE code you can find here:
Look at the last post from Zemanta down there, even Constant Contact and email providers are realizing the boon by trying to get in on the "viral" market of "deal of the day."
For those that are citing Groupon's 80% market share? Microsoft's Internet explorer was once over 90% of all browsers used WORLDWIDE. Now? Less than 60% and only dropping.
So where is that $500? Let's start our Groupon!