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Has Groupon "Now"'s Time Past?

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    CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 10: The Groupon logo is engraved in a glass office partition in the company's international headquarters on June 10, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Groupon, a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants and consumers by offering goods and services at a discount, announced June 2 that it had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its Class A common stock. The company, launched in Chicago in November 2008 now markets products and services in 43 countries around the world. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    The Wall Street Journal is just one of many publications declaring an early demise for one of Groupon's newest ventures: "Groupon ["Now"] is having trouble packing the product with enough deals to make it very useful. That may be a reason it hasn't caught on."

    There's been a rise of this sort of talk slowly over the course of this week, and critics aren't holding back on what they think. But, to be fair, even Andrew Mason has admitted "Now" needs time to blossom. At a recent conference, the Groupon founder described the product as a "longer-term investment," and that investors shouldn't "expect it to become material within the next quarter or two."

    Then again, isn't a little bit odd that shortly after having an IPO a company is shifting its core business so profoundly? Sure, there was a time when Amazon just sold books, but its transition into becoming the mega seller it is today was so gradual no one really noticed -- unlike Groupon, which ever other day seems to be rolling out some new service or opening some new outpost in another part of the world.

    Elsewhere, AOL Money has picked up a piece that breaks down the psychology of Groupon and other daily deal sites. It's an interesting read, particularly if you're thinking of starting your own deal site.

    Groupon's stock, as of press time, is at $20.19.

    David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.