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Live Well at a Discount, Everyone Is Included at Groupon

If you haven’t joined Groupon or even heard of it, perhaps you’re spending too much time perusing the Yellow Pages for ads.

Groupon

If
you haven’t joined Groupon or even heard of it, perhaps you’re spending too
much time perusing the Yellow Pages for ads.

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Groupon
is bringing back “Power to the People,” one Groupon special at a time. I’ve
been fascinated with Groupon since I first heard of it almost two years ago.

In
case you’ve been living in the mountains with no Internet service for the last
two years, this is how a Groupon special works. A business will offer a product
or service at a discount, usually around 50% off, if a certain number of people
sign up for it. The amount of
people necessary varies based on the size of the city, or the type of service
or product offered.

Specials
range anywhere from Bikram Yoga, to indoor skydiving, to clothes at the Gap. In
fact, when they posted the offer from the Gap, over 400,000 people signed up.

Groupon
combines the collective ideals of the Baby Boomers in the 1960’s with the
desire for life/balance of the Gen Xers, and the creativity, and socializing
culture of Gen Y. It’s a natural
for those who are impacted by the recession/depression/economy and have become
experts at cutting coupons, and would also like to get discounts on more than
just four cans of tuna for the price of one. It’s great for people who haven’t
seen their friends in a while, and now have a reason to contact them and get together, since a
critical mass is needed to get the special.

Groupon
shatters the myths that technology isolates people and that Gen Y have no
friends but their IPhones, and Gen X are in love relationships with their Blackberries,
and Baby Boomers spend all their time getting lost on the Internet. You can text, tweet, email or IM your
whole list of thousands and all of you can meet up at the spa, restaurant, or
in the dressing rooms at the Gap.

With
50% or more discount, even people who are retired or watching their money, can
“splurge,” and pamper themselves, with the right Groupon offering.

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Groupon
was founded in November 2008, by Andrew Mason, who is also the CEO, and six
months ago Rob Solomon, former CEO of Sidestep and Vice President of Yahoo was
hired as President.

I
recently had the opportunity to speak with Rob about Groupon. I’ve spoken with
people who were enthusiastic about their work, but Rob’s passion was
contagious.

“I
love working with Groupon,” Rob told me, “it is fun, exciting and a true
meritocracy. We have had an amazing impact on small businesses that have seen
incredible growth as a result of being the “deal of the day.” It makes people take action right away, because if we don’t
get the critical mass, no one gets the deal. So people try to influence
everyone else to sign up, in order to get the numbers. The Museum of Science in
Chicago gained 10,000 new members!”

I
asked him about the rest of his life, and how he found balance so he could
sustain his energy. “I have three kids, and I get so much joy from spending
time with them,” he said. “I also like to surf, swim and be around water. My
work is also a source of fun. I look forward to it every day.”

Forbes
named Groupon as the “fastest growing company ever.” With 15 million members,
in 29 countries across the world, including China and Russia, maybe Groupon
will be the way to bring about world peace and understanding.

I’d
love to read comments from people who’ve used Groupon. And if you’re not a member,
what are you waiting for? The next
deal of the day might be something you’ve wanted for the last five years, and
this is your opportunity.

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Simma Lieberman is the author of Putting Diversity to Work and a member of The Million Dollar Consultant® Hall of Fame. Simma Lieberman Associates works to create workplace cultures where people love to do their best work and customers love to do business. Read the Inclusionist blog. Follow her on twitter: @theinclusionist. Subscribe to her newsletter.