San Francisco’s Google has offered to buy Groupon

December 1, 2010

Groupon’s offices in Chicago are buzzing today – there’s a decision to make. San Francisco-headquartered Internet giant Google has offered to buy the successful daily deal company for a reported $6 billion.

Will Groupon execs take the cash or not? That remains to be seen but the deal sounds like a good one. The San Francisco Gate reported on it today, and bloggers are already speculating on what changes could come to Groupon if it goes through.

The site is known for offering half off or better deals on goods and services in cities throughout the country. Participants buy in and – if enough people are interested – the deal is on. It’s proven to be a great way to introduce new customers to businesses they might not know about. However, the site has come under some scrutiny as Groupon doesn’t automatically equate with brand loyalty. Users may go in for the deal and not return to the establishments. There are no guarantees.

The company – 3,000 employees strong – has been successful enough to catch the attention of Google. So what happens now? Writer Henry Blodget notes:

If the Google brains come charging in and try to “optimize” Groupon or some crap like that, the most talented of Groupon’s 3,000 employees will flee and all Google will be left with is a gigantic sales force that no longer has any interest in selling anything.

So how should Google “integrate” Groupon?

The same way Amazon has integrated Zappos.

Which is to say: Google shouldn’t integrate Groupon at all.

Will Google initiate process improvement practices to keep the company strong? Will it use team member engagement strategies with the existing employees? What are your thoughts on ways this transition could be beneficial for both sides?

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of the Bay Area. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @dalecarnegiesf.

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