How Groupon Can Shape Up

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Other than the fact that Groupon's stock has slid back under $20 -- as of press time, it's at $19.03 -- there's not a ton going on at Castle Groupon. That might have something to do with, you know, how the company is prepping to launch a whole new redesign of its site.

So, Tuesday's Groupon news is a bit of a mishmash. On the one hand, is serving up five reasons to stay skeptical about Groupon, as if anyone had stopped being that way. Still, the article's points are salient and are worth keeping in mind to keep your claws on where Andrew Mason's company is at these days. Here's the shortlist -- the full article has much longer elaborations:

  1. Groupon has not solved the puzzle of its operating costs.
  2. Groupon's margin of error is tiny.
  3. Groupon is forecasting slow to flat growth.
  4. Groupon is still dependent on cash-flow, not real profits, to stay in the black.
  5. Taxes are made of cash.

On the other hand, the Washington Post has a piece -- just in time for Valentine's Day -- that suggests Groupon and its clones are saving our marriages. Well, not our marriage, but most couples in "overcom[ing] date-night inertia."

Greg Jones, a couples' therapist explains: “I began to see it about two years ago. People get stuck in their routines, but then they start getting these daily e-mails from Groupon and LivingSocial with suggestions about restaurants and weekend getaways that are sparking their interest.”

So, what's more important? Groupon's fiscal solvency or love? Maybe it's Valentine's Day talking, but baby, it's gotta be love.

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. 

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