When Groupon first arrived on the scene, it was heralded for being the fastest growing company of all time.
There is, of course, a danger to being a fast growing company. It’s hard to predict if the incredible growth is just a fad, or something that can last in the long run.
In Groupon’s case, it’s looking like it was a fad. Bloomberg ran this chart which shows that Groupon’s core couponing business has stopped growing. To grow Groupon’s revenues overall, it’s going into a new line of business — Goods, which is like a traditional ecommerce company.
The collapse of Groupon’s couponing business has led chairman Eric Lefkofsky to consider firing CEO Andrew Mason in favor of finding a new executive who understands the new businesses Groupon will have to attack, says Doug MacMillan at Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
MacMillan says Mason has a few quarters to prove he can turn the company around.
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As you can see, Android and Apple have successfully eaten into Wintel’s marketshare. That’s not to say Microsoft is going to collapse. It has a number of successful businesses. It’s just not going to run the world like it once did.
I don’t live in a high risk area for deadly tremors, but after watching this earthquake-proof table easily survive having a 2,200 pound block dropped on it, I think I still want one for my office—just in case.
The table was designed by Ido Bruno and Arthur Brutter primarily for use in schools. Students are typically taught to hide under their desks in the event of an earthquake, but most desks aren’t designed to support the weight of all the debris were the building to collapse. Which is clearly demonstrated in this video when they drop just a 1,000 pound weight on a traditional desk and it’s immediately pancaked.
In addition to providing a safe haven for students, the desk’s supporting structure is designed in such a way that it also provides several escape routes depending on how debris has fallen. It’s also light enough to be lifted by just two students, and is built with durable but inexpensive materials so it’s actually affordable for a school to purchase en masse. Now it’s not available just yet, but based on these tests being conducted at the Structural Engineering department at Padua University in Italy, it shouldn’t have much trouble getting approved for sale. [designboom]
It seems you can’t follow the tech industry today without being bombarded with reports heralding the impending death of television as we know it. While we believe the television model will eventually be disrupted, there’s no evidence of any imminent collapse. Instead, the likely scenario is of a very slow decline, with TV remaining an amazingly large and profitable business for many many years to come.
A new survey from Deloitte indicates viewers are engaging with that model in new ways, with bad implications for the network’s ad sales. When asked how they watched their favorite show, 71% of respondents chose live TV, down from 87% three years ago. Some of the biggest winners? DVR, on demand, and the show’s internet site.
What does it mean? Consumers are wising up that you’re no longer chained to a show’s air date and if you have the patience to wait 30 minutes you can skip all the ads. The real big problem, however, is that these are engaged consumers with intent. In other words, exactly the kind of people advertisers want to be reaching.
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When users are empowered to buy only what they want (e.g. 1 track out of a 16 track CD) and play the music they bought where, when, and how they want (e.g. Apple’s Airplay and iCloud) the game has changed for the traditional music industry. In the last few years, the only way they are making money is through suing its users and customers. Sad.
The Policy Center’s vice-president reports “”The general consensus of the panel today was that we are not prepared to deal with these kinds of attacks.”
The nightmarish scenario that unfolded represented a worst-case example. As former secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff noted, many cyberattacks can be stopped if individual cell phone or Internet users simply follow the best practices and use the right tools. Similarly, another participant pointed out that private Internet companies would not sit idly by as a virus ran amok.
A collapse of power across the U.S. also only took place when the simulation brought in factors such as high demand during the summer, a hurricane that had damaged power supply lines, and coordinated bombings that accompanied the cyberattack and subsequent failure of the Internet.
Still, the war game highlighted crucial issues about the government’s own reliance upon communications that might go down during a real-life scenario. One of the biggest problems was how the President ought to respond to a situation that caused damage like warfare but lacked an immediately identifiable foreign adversary. Smaller-scale cyberattacks have already complicated real-world diplomacy, such as the alleged Chinese cyberattacks on Google and other U.S. companies.
Ares Defense Blog questioned a curious missing element from the simulation, in that there was no mention of what happened to phone or Internet service in the rest of the world. Surely a nation that decided to launch cyberattacks against the U.S. would take safeguards to protect its own crucial communication services, which would possibly help U.S. officials narrow down the list of suspects.
Another question seemed more mundane but equally important — how would the government activate the National Guard with cell phone service down?
The Pentagon’s DARPA science lab recently pushed for a “Cyber Genome Program” that could trace digital fingerprints to cyberattack culprits. But identifying whether a cyber attack came from individual civilians, shadowy hacker associations or government cyber-warriors has proven tricky in the meantime.
[via Ares Defense Blog]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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