September Photo Contest Results

Congratulations to Preston “Kip” Hufstedler, whose creative application of his Groupon for [Cowboy Cleaning](http://www.groupon.com/deals/cowboys-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 [pictures@groupon.com](pictures@groupon.com) with the physical Groupon in the image, and next month it could be you!

[![d](http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2508/3985378030_ce1fb65f19.jpg)](http://www.flickr.com/photos/groupon/3985378030/)


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](https://www.groupon.com/users/new) (if you’ve already bought something, you have one), find your personal referral link by clicking [Refer Friends, Get $10](http://www.groupon.com/referrals) at the top of the page.

![blog](http://www.bandrew.com/pics/blog-20091002-132626.jpg)

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](http://www.groupon.com/pages/e-schwag), and put Groupon on your blog or social networking profile to keep Groupon Bucks flowing!

![hello](http://www.bandrew.com/pics/blog-20091002-164032.jpg)

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](http://www.groupon.com/deals/chronicles-of-the-cursed-haunted-house), 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](http://www.groupon.com/deals/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?


This Week's Fancy Facts

This week has provided us with a bonanza of facts. Here are two of the fanciest facts we could find.

**Fancy Fact #1:** Regarding [The Fourth Estate Restaurant](http://www.groupon.com/washington-dc/deals/the-fourth-estate-restaurant#voice) in Washington, DC, which is housed within the National Press Club.

Lounge around at The National Press Club for some great people watching and you’re likely to overhear entertaining gossip about today’s top journalists. Groupon investigative researchers recently picked up some notable gossip documenting the little rituals and superstitions that news anchors perform before going on-air each night. Here are just a few that have been divulged to us:

  • Edward R. Murrow: Consumed entire roast chicken in under one minute.
  • Walter Cronkite: Split wooden plank over face and screamed “Get some!” into camera.
  • Sam Donaldson: Does his own eyebrows.
  • Barbara Walters: Lies fully clothed in empty bathtub listening to MP3s of whale songs.
  • Dan Rather: Burns a doll made of own hair while whispering, “And so it begins.”

**Fancy Fact #2:** Discovered while researching [D’ames Day Spa](http://www.groupon.com/san-diego/deals/dames-day-spa#voice), a wonderful day spa in San Diego.

D’ames Day Spa offers a variety of soothing treatments—during the day. But many clients are turning to a whole new kind of spa experience: the night spa. The services it offers are similar, but with the mystery and intrigue that could only happen at night. Here are the key differences between a day spa and a night spa:

  • Day Spa: Relaxing massage treatments
  • Night Spa: Gosh darn vampires everywhere
  • Day Spa: Rejuvenating skin treatments
  • Night Spa: Reanimating skin experiments
  • Day Spa: Beautifying waxing services
  • Night Spa: The wind is driving everyone insane; a mysterious figure appears on a cloud of dust

This Week's Groupon Findings

They say you learn two new things every week, and this week they are right. First, we learned this about pilates:

###The Pilates Code

Pilates is an anagram for “Split Pea.” Here’s a list of anagrams for things you may find each day at Groupon.com.

* **Sporting Events**: Voting Serpents
* **Paintball Course**: Tropical Nebulas
* **Restaurant Deal**: Tarantula Deers
* **Spa Treatment**: Rap Testament
* **Boat Tour**: Boa Tutor

_After that, some research on art led us to our second fascinating find:_

###Peyton St. Claire, Art Throb Extraordinaire

Excerpted from a recent Soap Opera Weekly article:

> * Fans of the hit soap _Factory Town_ will be intrigued to know that actor/hunk Peyton St. Claire has recently found an after-work hobby as a distinguished art forger. St. Claire, who stars as Sheriff Cane Harmon, is consistently able to generate indistinguishable copies of classic paintings. _Factory Town_ producer Jane Olsen plans to introduce St. Claire’s real-life hobby into a future story line, in which Sheriff Harmon will be forced to “shirtlessly forge…something,” in order to “save or do something.”

Eagle-eyed fans may remember when Sheriff Harmon’s rival, Jericho Edgewater, purchased and then destroyed Picasso’s _Guernica_ in a recent story line. Well, we can report that the classic painting depicting the horrors of war is just fine, as the show used an expert forgery painted by St. Claire himself! Says St. Claire, “I love forging art and also helping people.” We couldn’t agree more!


Groupon Profiles

One of the great privileges of working at Groupon is the opportunity to hear the stories of the entrepreneurs whose businesses we feature each day. Behind every storefront is the story of a passionate individual who, through countless hours of grueling and thankless work, turned his or her dream into reality.

Since we love getting backstage access to cool businesses, we thought you might too. So we’re trying something new: _Groupon Profiles_, behind-the-scenes interviews with the men and women responsible for the businesses we love (Hat tip to [Jason Fried](https://twitter.com/jasonfried) for the wonderful idea).

Without further delay, enjoy the first installment of _Groupon Profiles_, featuring Shin Thompson of Bonsoiree.


This Week's Groupon Lessons

Of all our findings this week, there was one discovery that stood out most. When compiling research for a murder mystery dinner deal, we found that most Americans wish they’d read more books, especially mystery books. As usual we went out of our way to help Groupon customers—preparing a tool for our readers to quickly achieve a greater knowledge of the mystery classics. Since then we’ve been inundated with thank you letters. Here’s what everyone has been so happy about:

Mysteries Revealed

There have been many, _many_ classic mystery stories over the years, far too many to read in their entirety. That’s why Groupon provides this handy list of Famous Murder Mystery Spoilers for the modern speed-reading sleuth.

  • The Case of the Ironclad Leg_: Butler did it.
  • The Creeping Wisp_: It was her other son, who faked his death in World War One.
  • Lord Herrington’s Fortune_: Revised copy of the will was rolled up inside candlestick.
  • Cody Extreme’s Cool Cases #117_: Mp3 player was in Steph’s paper-mâché volcano the whole time.
  • The Blood-Wrung Mantle_: Parrot saw everything.

This Week's Groupon Lessons

What did we learn this week at Groupon? As usual, lots. In our research of Tsada Yoga in Dallas, we discovered some interesting information about the history of yoga:

> Yoga was invented in the early 1960s by a group of exiled Frenchmen living in the Swiss Alps after being banished for bizarre, alternative science experiments. Their leader, Jean-Pierre “Yoga” Yoga, was a fitness buff who believed that proper stretching would allow him to read minds when done on one of his extra-sensory-inducing “Yoga mats.”

> Yoga traveled the world in a canoe, teaching his invigorating fitness plan and reading minds. However, a lifetime of deeply seeing into people’s inner-thoughts left him twisted and insane. Yoga gave up mind reading, saying, “The mind is a door locked for our own protection. I am hungry.” Today, the practice of Yoga continues to be performed on Yoga mats, though the true purpose of the mats—to induce clairvoyance—has largely been forgotten.

Even more interesting was our discovery about Zeno’s Paradox when doing background research on East Village Bowling Alley in San Diego:

> [Zeno’s dichotomy paradox](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno%27s_paradoxes#The_dichotomy_paradox) is a complex philosophical paradox studied by complex philosophical students. Most students don’t understand the paradox, but the few who do believe it is an attempt to prove the impossibility of motion with the following argument: before you can arrive somewhere, you must arrive halfway there. Therefore, before you can arrive at your final destination, you will encounter an infinite number of halfway points, making it impossible to ever get all the way to your target.

> Zeno’s actual goal with his paradox was to obtain free tacos at an ancient Greek bowling alley. His plan was to convince the server to give him half-price tacos, and then to cut that price in half, and so on. However, Zeno realized that he would never be able to get the price all the way down to zero because dividing by two always results in at least $2.46. Dejected, Zeno attempted to walk home, but encountered an infinite number of halfway points and died standing a mere Greek-yard outside his front door.

I hope next week we learn more about Raymond “Blue Ray” Raymonds, inventor of Blue-ray, but there’s really no way to predict that except to wait out the weekend.


Recent Press & Upcoming Features

As Groupon grows (now at 400,000 subscribers and $7,000,000 saved!), we’re increasingly drawing the attention of our nation’s newspaper people. Since you’re initiated enough to be reading our blog, stories describing Groupon are probably deeply uninteresting… but I’ll post a few anyway.

* TIME – [Interview With Groupon Founder, [Me]](http://cheapskate.blogs.time.com/2009/06/24/qa-with-groupon-com-founder-andrew-mason/)
* CBS Early Show – [Retail Stores Making Deals](http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5161371n&tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea;cbsnewsMainColumnArea.0)
* Chicago Tribune – [Social entrepreneur finds money-making power of crowdsourcing](http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/chi-mon-minding-crowdsourcing-jul27,0,4860442.column)
* Chris Brogan – [Groupon – Clever Collective Buying Site](http://www.chrisbrogan.com/groupon-clever-collective-buying-site/)

For more, [check out our press page](https://www.groupon.com/press).

### Recent Site Upgrades

We hope you’re enjoying Groupon’s new design! The original version of Groupon was a hacked-together combination of WordPress and [The Point](http://www.thepoint.com), and while it did a great job of getting us through the first months, we’re glad to be rid of it. The new site is built in Ruby on Rails (still sharing the same code base as The Point), and sports a classy new design courtesy of our friends at [Firebelly](http://firebellydesign.com/).

When designing the new site, we assumed that most of our users were like us – skeptical about huge discounts, assuming that they’re too good to be true. For that reason, we focused on making each deal’s specifics as transparent as possible. If there are any special conditions, you’ll find them prominently displayed in the cheekily named, “The Fine Print” section towards the top of the page. And we’ve added user commenting, so you can check what other people are saying before you decide to buy.

Speaking of commenting, many of you have asked for ways to communicate with other Groupon users… planning Groupon outings, reviewing past Groupon experiences, suggesting ideas, etc. In a few days, we’ll launch Groupon forums, where we encourage you to chat about Groupon until your fingers fall off. Actually we recommend stopping while you still have one finger – you’ll need it to make future Groupon purchases.

### New City Launches

Groupon is launching shortly in Dallas, Houston, Seattle, San Diego, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Denver, doubling our cities. Related fact: people are generally appreciative when you tell them about things that make their lives better. So if you’re into being appreciated and you have friends in one of those cities, you are now equipped with the tools necessary to incrementally increase your happiness.

### What Else?

Right now, the number one request we receive is, “bring Groupon to my city!” We’re doing what we can to oblige; Groupon will be in at least 25 cities by the end of 2009. And we continue to hack away at new features that will make Groupon even better. What else would you like to see?

Intern at Groupon!

Want to work at Chicago’s fastest growing tech startup? They probably don’t want you, but Groupon does! Just kidding – I was actually referring to Groupon when I said, “Chicago’s fastest growing tech startup.” Although that claim is totally unsubstantiated.

Anyway, Groupon is looking for a few interns to join the team. Sure to pique the entrepreneurial interest of any industrious young man or woman, Groupon internships cover a wide range of tasks, from sales to marketing to general office upkeepery. We’re looking for flexible, detail-oriented individuals who are willing to take on any project, no matter how humiliating character building.

Compensation is $10/hr.

To apply, send your resume and cover letter to [jobs@groupon.com](jobs@groupon.com) with the word “internship” in the subject line.