Who is to blame for the Groupon fiasco? Everyone

We’ve heard quite a few opinions about who’s to blame for Groupon’s IPO fiasco ever since the company announced a restatement of its earnings last Friday and indicated that it had material weakness in its internal controls. Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times blames greedy tech companies. Sarah Lacy of Pando Daily blames greedy Wall Street bankers. They’re both right — and they’re both wrong. The blame for this fiasco can be spread far and wide.

Groupon’s new Scheduler feature has potential, but two very big IFs

Groupon today launched a wide beta of its Groupon Scheduler product. The Scheduler is an online calendaring tool that allows service businesses such as spas, yoga studios, contractors and photographers to take reservations online. It’s open to all merchants, not just companies that run deals with Groupon. The daily deals company is billing it as a “free trial,” and it’s unclear whether Groupon will eventually charge for the service. Groupon did not respond to two requests for comment on this story.

How Amazon can be a friend to small businesses

I’ve been testing out the Kindle Fire tablet for the last several weeks. At $199, it’s a tremendous value. It’s no iPad — I just upgraded to the new iPad as well — but it provides a solid base-level tablet and reader. I can think of a lot of uses for it: an e-book reader, a video consumption device, and a dedicated Sonos controller. But the most exciting use I can see for it would be for Amazon to turn into a device that helps small, local retailers.

Groupon’s whale problem

I’ve long suspected that Groupon has a whale problem — that a lot of its revenue comes from a small number of customers. New research from ForeSee indicates that this may be the case.

The 14 hottest Chinese tech-startup clones of 2011

Cloning or copycatting ideas, companies, and products is nothing new in China. Westerners, especially Americans, loathe cloning; it hurts their pride and is an insult to their creativity and hard work. The Chinese, however, love it. It comes as second nature and presents a grand opportunity to seize a massive market potential.

Why Groupon’s still not well in China despite group-buying uptick

Online group buying is finally proving popular in China, according to a report released on Monday by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). According to the report, Chinese market witnessed an increase of 244.8% in online group buying in the year 2011. Despite a massive blow to Groupon and others last year, Chinese online group buying is finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

Yelp’s IPO filing: no tricks, but big questions linger

Yelp’s S-1 for its upcoming IPO is a breath of fresh air. After five months of studying the S-1 of daily deals site Groupon, I’m glad to see local-business-reviews site Yelp come out with a reasonably clean document.Groupon tortured many accounting rules and made up some of its own (forcing it to amend its S-1 repeatedly and delaying its IPO), but Yelp seems to be playing by the books.