Press Release: Groupon Hits 1,000,000 Subscribers!

_CHICAGO, 11/2/09_: [Groupon](
— America’s premiere website for thinking about doing stuff and then deciding to do it — just turned one million subscribers old.

“When we started Groupon last November,” writes founder and haircut magnate Andrew Mason, “We had one goal in mind — Solar colonization. Did we find the sun was able to support human life? Yes, yes we did. But did we lose a lot of men to do it?

[Long silence. Mason stares out window at sun.]

“But to have our back-up plan [a website offering deals that encourage people to explore cool things to do in their city] connect with this many people in such a short time, it’s mind-blowing,” says Mason. “Hopefully, as we continue to expand and come up with new ways to engage our loyal fans, we’ll have many million more next year.”

Andrew Mason then disturbed witnesses by taking a hearty bite from his own hand, which he revealed to be a prop hand made of taffy and was unavailable for comment for the better part of an hour due to “hand re-patching.”

But Groupon is more than just [America’s Best Website]( We’re rolling out new features like a little invention we’re calling “Gift Cards.” As easily as purchasing a Groupon for one’s lovable self, you can pass the deals on to another, in any denomination, to be redeemed on their own next Groupon purchase. From sushi to skydiving, get your loved ones the gift they really want— a thing that they forgot to tell you what it is.

But how does giving to others help you? That’s where the referral program comes in. Subscribers can now receive Groupon credit for each friend they convince to buy a Groupon.

“Now that we have such a huge, established audience, Groupon wanted to make it easy for our fans to do their shopping during the holiday season,” said Mason, through a mouthful of taffy-hand. “And since word-of-mouth is the cornerstone to our success, it made sense to reward people for telling their friends about us.”

Groupon subscribers receive free daily emails alerting them to an exclusive deal from a top local business (restaurant, spa, indoor activity, the World’s Largest of something, etc.), but these deals only go into effect if a minimum number of people agree to buy, “just like clapping to bring Tinkerbell back to life,” adds a scientist.

This naturally encourages subscribers to share the deal with family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, yelling, and other social media tools, generating new customers as they rope in awesome friends to try new restaurants, keep each other in check with their new gym memberships, or watch each other’s backs in Laser-tag. After only a year in business, Groupon has saved its subscribers more than $26 million Earth dollars while generating much more for local businesses, and having enough left-over to construct our weather machine.

“Groupon brings buyers and sellers together in a fun and collaborative way,” said Mason, from his taffy-coma plastic detox incubator. “We offer the consumer a great deal they can’t get anywhere else and deliver the sales directly to the merchant.” Andrew Mason then exploded into a ball of white light, due to the molecular vibrations triggered by his obscene sugar consumption. Witnesses report that the phenomenon “was beautiful” and smelled “exactly like cotton candy.”

_Groupon, launched in November 2008 in Chicago, features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, eat, see, and buy in major cities across the U.S., with plans to be in at least 25 cities by the end of 2009. Groupon uses collective buying power to offer unbeatable prices and provide a win-win for businesses and consumers._

Secret Geography

This week we investigated San Diego’s [Gulf Coast Grill](, which to our surprise, is not located in the Gulf Coast. In fact, the Gulf Coast region you know and love was not the first “Gulf Coast”:

Today, the Gulf Coast region is composed of the five U.S. states that border the Gulf of Mexico—but that was not always the case. The five original Gulf States—New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and America Jr.—were known as the Gulf States because “Gulf” once meant “highfalutin” and did not refer to a body of water. This was also when Philadelphia was a state and “four” and “five” meant the same thing.

Soon, however, the popular usage of “Gulf” shifted, and the states that were near the Water-Gulf of Mexico took the mantle of Gulf States. Unfortunately, history has not been kind to the original Gulf States: New York was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire; New Jersey is currently 80% covered in water parks; Philadelphia lost its statehood in a friendly World Series bet between governors; and America, Jr. became Portugal.

Hidden History #643

This week at Groupon we traveled to Atlanta, where we unearthed evidence of a [secret feud between ancient rivals](

**Hawks vs. Wizards**

The feud between hawks and wizards dates back millennia. Recently unearthed cobalt tablets reveal the chronology of their bitter war of magics:

200 AD: Azamoth of the Firstwind and his trusty hawk, Bringer, lay eyes on the same scrumptious cherry blossom. But before Azamoth can pop it in his mouth, Bringer snatches it from his hand and gobbles it up himself. The war is begun.

1290: The seemingly indefatigable Thunderclaw Hawkfleet, as led by General Peregrine Skychild, guard the northern sky like an impenetrable web of knives, ready to reduce any opponent to tatters—that is, any opponent they can see. Abercrombie of the Sparkling Air sneaks past them under a Guise of Refractability, carrying in the Six Forbidden Charms of Resistance, unimpeded.

1774: An unstable continent to the west becomes a refuge for desperate, emigrating hawks, many of which do not survive the transatlantic flight, despite the aid of their amulets. A bloodthirsty faction of wizards, however, is quick to follow, and the ensuing battle in the new world becomes the perfect smokescreen for the birth of a young republic.

1958 The hawks battle the wizards for the first time in human form, winning in double overtime against a coven of Stonehenge-worshipping Druids who had cleverly renamed themselves the Boston Celtics.

This Week's Findings

Too bashful to talk to that cutie across the room? In Phoenix, we discovered [this]( Fill-In-the-Blanks Missed Connection Ad Generator to help track him/her down in the local paper for later connectioning:

You: [Gender]
Me: [Gender]

I saw you at the (_location_). You were wearing a (_color_) (_name of band_) (_clothing item_). I was the (_description of height_) (_gender_) (_verb_)-ing against a (_model of car from the mid-90s_). We made eye contact, but I was too (_synonym for scared_) to talk to you. I badly (_verb_)-ed myself on that samurai sword that someone hid in the (_unlikely place for a samurai sword_). (_Modal verb_) (_pronoun_) like to (_verb_) (_noun_) at (_non-threatening neutral location_) and (_verb_) (_our imagined mutual interest in name of band from clothing item_)?

Jason Fried Joins the Groupon Board of Directors

I’m excited to announce that Jason Fried has joined Groupon’s Board of Directors. Jason is the founder of [37signals](, as well as the co-author of two books and the popular [Signal vs.Noise]( design blog.

Anyone who’s started a web business knows that you don’t get very far before running into Jason’s work. _[Getting Real]( — sort of _The Elements of Style_ for building websites — was the first book I read when starting [The Point]( And [Campfire](, 37signals’ group chat application, was among the first charges on the company credit card. Almost three years later, we still use it every day.

As Groupon continues to grow, we want to be surrounded by smart people of diverse backgrounds, with strong opinions that they aren’t shy about expressing. That’s why we asked Jason to join our board. Few have been as successful as Jason at creating tools that people love to use, or building a brand that stands for something greater than the utility of its products.

It’s been a tremendous year for Groupon, and Jason’s guidance helps assure that many more will follow.

Been there, done that!

If you’re like a lot of customers we’ve been hearing from (myself included), you’re finding that the only downside to buying a lot of Groupons is keeping track of them all.

We know that thousands of you have more than 10 Groupons, over a thousand have more than 20 Groupons and there’s even one person with over 100! Psssst… you know who you are, and we have a hotline you can call to get help with your addiction (312) 673-1515 Just sayin’

This is why we’ve added a much-requested feature to let you easily mark off which Groupons you’ve used.

Just go to mygroupons and click ‘mark as used’ to say ‘Been there, done that!’, and you’re done. Your used Groupons are tucked away in the ‘Used’ bin so you can focus on what’s still available.

Mark Used

Use the filters at the top of the page to see what’s Available, Used, Expired or, if you’re feeling nostalgic and want to take a trip down memory lane, you can click to see All the Groupons you’ve ever had.

My Groupons Filters

If you happen to click the wrong one by mistake, there’s a quick ‘undo’ available to get it right back. You can always click to ‘mark unused’ from the list of used Groupons. Nothing is ever removed, we’re just helping you tidy up.

We’ve also made printing a little easier when you have multiple vouchers for the same deal.
In the past, if you had 4 of a single deal, the print button would print all 4, every time. Now you can click to print a single voucher or print them all if you need to. Saves time, saves ink, saves paper.

We hope you like the new features. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think.

Groupon Fingernail Growing Contest: And the Winner Is…

Since the $100 Groupon Fingernail Growing Contest [was announced in early September](, hundreds, perhaps thousands of citizens have been silently focused on growing their fingernails.

We’re pleased to announce that by following a strict diet and the regular application of her generations-old recipe for fingernail topical treatment, [@GeeEmm]( outgrew her competitors and secured the $100 prize! Check out the specimens below.



September Photo Contest Results

Congratulations to Preston “Kip” Hufstedler, whose creative application of his Groupon for [Cowboy Cleaning]( near Dallas, TX is documented in an event too unnerving to be Photoshopped. We don’t know if it’s the enthusiastic look on his face, or picturing the goldenrod glob on the tip of that rag, but Kip definitely got our attention, plus a $100 Groupon gift card to use on his next questionable adventure. Submit your own pic of yourself redeeming your Groupon to []( with the physical Groupon in the image, and next month it could be you!


New on Groupon: Referral Rewards

What’s more fun than buying the daily Groupon (and less fun than watching people fall down)? That’s right – **sharing** Groupons. Maybe you share because you’re looking for people to help you use a Groupon. Maybe it’s because you *need* to share in order to reach the minimum required for the deal. Or maybe you’re just a nice person and want to help friends get deals on stuff they love.

Today we added one more great reason to share – for every new customer you bring to Groupon, we’ll give you $10 in Groupon Bucks when they buy their first deal. It’s our way of saying “thanks” for your help spreading the word and increasing our collective buying power!

### How to Earn Groupon Bucks

Once you [create a Groupon account]( (if you’ve already bought something, you have one), find your personal referral link by clicking [Refer Friends, Get $10]( at the top of the page.


From here, you can post your link to Twitter, Facebook, or email, or just Cher (pun intended – intended with extreme prejudice) your personal link. Wrap that link around a [Groupon badge](, and put Groupon on your blog or social networking profile to keep Groupon Bucks flowing!


The “Share” links attached to each deal will also earn you Groupon Bucks. Whether a customer buys that deal immediately or subscribes to the daily email and doesn’t get their first Groupon for months, we won’t forget – you’ll still get your Groupon Bucks.

This was a frequently requested feature – we’re excited to see what you think!

This Week's Horrifying Revelations

Fear is the secret to happy marriages, lasting friendships, and the final ingredient in numerous madman-created serums. We learned this while fact checking the reported dreadful nature of the helix featured at [Chronicles of the Cursed: Hades Emerges](, a haunted house in Chicago. While researching the nature of fear, we uncovered this information about this fall’s new movie releases:

Scary Movies Sure to Make You Jump

Scary movie season is filled with genuinely scary flicks, but there are also a number of less-terrifying stinkers:

  • President’s Day: All of the deceased presidents rise from their tombs and run for President again.
  • A Nightmare on Murder Street Part 6: To everyone’s surprise, undead dream-murderer Dale doesn’t go on a murder spree but does start committing mail fraud.
  • The Historical Haunting of Madeline: A bunch of ghosts don’t do all that much to secure a PG-13 rating.
  • The Wyoming Chainsaw Massacre: A chainsaw wielding maniac can’t find one person to murder in the least populous state.

Meanwhile in Tampa, we discovered terrifying brain teasers to enhance the mind-body experience of yoga. Specifically of the yoga practiced at Tampa’s [Namaste Yoga Studio](

Step Into The BrainTrap!

Yoga is well known as a unifier of mind and body, and just as muscles must stretch to strengthen, so must the gray matter upstairs. With that, Groupon dusted off our favorite childhood board game BrainTrap™: The Game of Unreasonable Mind-Teasers, and transcribed a few favorites for you to try at home:

  • You enter a room. A man who stands four feet high has hung himself. Below him is a puddle of warm water, and in the corner, a vase has fallen from the table but is not broken. What has happened?
  • It is the circus. The tightrope walker is blindfolded, but holds an umbrella for balance. On her shoulder sits a North African parrot. Why was the conductor of the orchestra arrested for the murder?
  • A boy and his father are in a minor car accident. The man is unharmed, but the boy will require a wrist brace. When they arrive at the hospital, a priest is waiting. “You have the same last name as my brother,” he tells them, “although we are not related. Who am I?” Before the priest can answer, the hands of a nearby clock come to rest on digits that, when subtracted from one another, form their own square root. A fire brigade is called, but they are unable to enter the building. “My son is in there,” says the childless woman. Why?