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Groupon to eat Foursquare for breakfast?

May 25, 2011

We all know about Groupon’s failed attempt at irony during the Superbowl and its founder’s humble beginnings helping activists and non-profits connect and take action, but what’s it’s mission and vision?

While there’s certainly a benevolent side to Groupon, but as it’s business ramps up by the day- now at over 7k employees worldwide and active in 500 cities in 46 countries- there’s clearly a level of soul searching going on to uncover- “the one thing” that Groupon is all about and that’s clearly very “tricky”.

Andrew Mason Groupon’s CEO wants to hedge his bets in a couple of areas- at an interview at the eG8 forum in France yesterday he stated two uber ideas.

1. “Unlock the city for everyone”

2. “Capture impulse”

There seems to be some conflict that needs to be resolved- Groupon realizes that mobile is the future and it’s certainly way to capture impulse, but doesn’t it really want to do both?

Obviously, the problem for Groupon is that Foursquare now owns the check in space.

When you think deeper, it seems like Groupon might hold the upper hand; mobile is very much the future-, but it doesn’t need it right now, so maybe it can keep growing and expanding globally, biding it’s time for a bit.

While buying Foursquare is a potential option- Groupon is probably going to develop it’s own mobile competitor for the fraction of the cost of buying Foursquare and present a real challenge to the current owner of the “check in”.

Net- Mason’s comments in France weren’t a sign of confusion, but a signal to Foursquare that Group0n is coming right after them.

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