Esther Dyson on Facebook vs. Groupon

My last post pointed out the contrasts between Facebook and Groupon (only because they are being talked about as two good IPO candidates and not because they are competitors).  Esther Dyson not only points out the same differences I did between the two companies but also seems to consider them potential competitors:

For my money, Facebook has a stronger position than anyone in the market. If it can extend its power to daily deals, its competitors had better watch out.

via Groupon’s big discounts: how its coupon business could eventually cripple the merchants that rely on it. – By Esther Dyson – Slate Magazine.

Which makes me realize something I missed my last post– that even though Groupon can be valued on revenues, it’s really isn’t by some.  In fact, it’s really on the same end of the spectrum as Facebook.  That’s because many investors see/want to see Groupon not just for what it is today, but for what it can be in the future: a local advertising juggernaut where group deals is only one sliver of their business.

(Think of Fred Wilson’s post on AirBNB– “We focused too much on what they were doing at the time and not enough on what they could do, would do, and did do.”)

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