Project: Creating the First Local Geo Based Local Commerce App for the Fastest Growing Company Ever.

Status: Launched

Groupon Guinea Pigs

Patrick was asked to help launch Groupon’s “Now” mobile app as a founding sales executive and to act as the ‘product owner’ of small business. He worked alongside the product development team for the first few weeks to help construct the interface with merchants, so they could schedule deals themselves, instead of working with a sales executive on a “Daily Deal”.

The app was the first of its kind using push notifications, mobile redemptions, and a web interface that could handle tens of thousands of local merchants selling potentially millions of groupons weekly.

Life in the fast lane

Being the fastest growing company ever, Groupon faced many challenges as not only were they bringing in tens of new employees each week but they were also growing internationally. The company was constantly under the threat of new competition and also had issues with customer redemption of groupons, as well as merchants not being able to handle all the foot traffic groupon was sending their way.

Perhaps the biggest issue facing Groupon was the fact their chief competitor, Livingsocial, was launching Livingsocial “Instant”. The fear (at the time) was whatever mobile platform that launched first would essentially “win” the buy now, use now discount war through network effects.

Groupon goes mobile

The Groupon brand has changed over the years, however at the time of development it was looked at as a great way to explore the city and and get a good deal at a variety of different businesses. The Groupon Now app was built for immediate gratification, and to enocurage customers with deals as they were walking or driving down the street. On the flip side, Businesses liked that they could get more customers during their slower times, or to sell unused or expiring food / merchandise.


Groupon beat Livingsocial to market, but it seems the actual product itself was not ready for primetime. Groupon overestimated the number of businesses that would actively use the platform to throttle customer traffic daily, therefor making the ‘instant customer’ dream unattainable. However, Patrick’s sales style and hypothesis of how deals should be constructed moved Groupon away from a ‘push’ to a ‘pull’ deal infrastructure, something which is still done today.

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