Car2Go could radically transform urban transportation

It’s incredibly rare that I run across a technology that could improve economic efficiency, better the environment, and improve quality of life for many. Car2Go hits that trifecta.

Facebook potential

6 multibillion dollar businesses Facebook would do really well at

With Facebook’s IPO less than 24 hours away, I remain very bullish about the company. (Disclosure: I have entered my indication of interest with my broker for an IPO allocation. I expect that, like most people who ask for shares, I will get none.)

Discount deals

Doing deals the right way

I’ve voiced quite a bit of opposition to the daily deals industry, but that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to discounting in general. Discounting can be an important part of the marketing mix, especially for encouraging trials.

Rocky on Groupon

My role in the Groupon story

Recently, people have questioned my motivations around writing about Groupon. They have tried to insinuate that I’m writing about Groupon for personal financial gain.

Groupon Now

Why Groupon Now won’t work

In Andrew Mason’s recent letter to shareholders and in a press release touting 1.5 million Groupon Now deals sold, Groupon has been highlighting the product as an example of innovation and a potential positive for the beleaguered company.

Why Andrew Mason is still wrong about Groupon’s prospects

After an accounting restatement, a shuffling of its board of directors and Groupon’s stock falling to below 50 percent of its initial public offering price (and 66 percent off the high it reached on its first day of trading), Groupon CEO Andrew Mason wrote a letter to shareholders yesterday to try to swing the momentum back in the company’s favor.

Groupon changes payment terms

Groupon tightens its payment terms with merchants

Groupon is changing its payment terms with merchants, according to several sources familiar with Groupon’s business and contracts. The company has traditionally used two different payment models. In the United States and Canada, merchants have been paid in three installments.

Yelp

Why Yelp is the Digg of local

The other day, I tweeted “I should be able to ban anyone who rates Applebee’s 4* from ever influencing a Yelp result for me.” That sentiment touched a nerve among my followers. Shervin Pishevar of Menlo Ventures coined it ” The Agrawal-Applebee Law”.

Viral

Secrets of Facebook’s success: Virality

As Facebook gets ready for its monster IPO, which will likely value the company at more than $100 billion, I thought it would be valuable to take a look at some of the critical product decisions that have led to its success.

Square

12 companies getting local right for small businesses

I’ve spent much of the last year talking about how the sites small businesses rely on to advertise and promote themselves — think Yelp and Groupon — are failing them. In fact, helping small businesses at the local level is extremely challenging for technology companies, for the following reasons:

window shopping

6 tips for buying a daily deal

With all of the doom and gloom surrounding Groupon, which reached yet another all-time low in trading today, I thought it would be useful to write up my best practices for buying Groupons and other daily deals.

newspapers

What does all the bad press mean for Groupon?

Groupon faced a deluge of bad press and unfavorable comparisons this week following its accounting restatement on March 30. This morning, I searched for Groupon and got this on Google News:

ss-finger-pointing

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.

calculator

Groupon’s restatement doesn’t add up

Chicago-based investment research firm Morningstar can’t make the numbers in Groupon’s restatement add up. In a research note it sent to clients, who are institutional investors, it wrote:

collapse

Why Groupon is poised for collapse

Groupon was forced to restate fourth quarter earnings, sending its stock down 6% in after-hours trading. This surprised me as much as my $2 investment in the Mega Millions jackpot not paying off.

Judges Table

How to pitch your startup at conferences

I attended the Launch conference in San Francisco yesterday and saw quite a few pitches. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are still making the same mistakes they’ve been making for years.

Whale

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.

A 1-star review of Yelp’s advertiser agreement

Yelp’s advertiser agreement combines some of the worst elements of Yellow Pages, Aol and cell phone agreements. As with many such agreements, it’s very lopsided in Yelp’s favor. (See my analysis of the similarly lopsided Groupon merchant agreement.)

Why I’m so bullish on Facebook

Facebook faces some real challenges when it comes to keeping up its growth pace, as I covered yesterday. But I’m still bullish on the company, and here’s why.

hurdles

Rocky Likes Facebook … but sees some challenges

Facebook is a fantastic company that will be sold at a fantastic premium. That’s my key takeaway from the company’s filing of its S-1. The document, the first major public step in the process to an IPO, gives us a real look at the company’s numbers and insight into the minds of its management.

This post on Google+ statistics is a billion* times better than any other post

In Thursday’s Google earnings call, CEO Larry Page told the world that the company’s fledgling social network, Google+ has reached 90 million registered users. He went on to say that, “Over 60 percent of Google+ users use Google products on a daily basis. Over 80 percent of Google+ users use Google products every week.”