Besides, the core problem in local is not a technology problem: It’s the reluctance of many small businesses to use Internet technologies. That’s a problem hundreds (if not thousands) of companies have wrestled with for 15 years now. Many companies have built self-serve platforms that few businesses used. Groupon’s innovation was to strip away the requirement for the business to use a computer, make Internet advertising less targeted, less efficient and more expensive — expensive enough that it could afford to pay a sales force.
But that’s a bridge at best. Eventually, probably in 3-5 years, businesses will use the Internet more for marketing. Once that problem is solved, real technology companies with massive built in distribution like Google and Facebook will dominate the space.
Groupon模式的创新就在于他们发现了一个秘密：中小企业不愿意使用互联网使得任何以他们会用电脑为前提的广告都变的其贵无比，贵得可以用人来帮他们操作了。这是一个桥梁 － 一个帮助他们跨越时间的桥梁。