The UpStream

Groupon Looks to Group Buy it's Way Out of Termoil

posted Sunday Oct 30, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Groupon Looks to Group Buy it's Way Out of Termoil

This week Groupon kicked off their roadshow in hopes of winning over investors for a successful IPO (initial public offering) which they need to help smooth out the turbulent waters they've been sailing through. So far they've been battling a plethora of negative publicity in the media, class action lawsuits and now they're pushing for a successful IPO at a time when the markets are in bad shape.

The presentation focuses on the untapped potential there is in local markets, how Groupon will take advantage and the financial rewards for the company in the future. CEO Andrew Mason asserted that their new platform's potential is in the trillions of dollars and that it provides consumers with twice the buying power and increased profits for merchants.

The driving force behind those claims is their "Triforce: The Foundation of Groupon" (yes, it is an intentional The Legend of Zelda reference). The basis for which is their proprietary Smart Deals system which they refer to as "the deal factory." Smart Deals is how they get the right deals in front of the correct consumers and how they tailor the type of deals in accordance to the preferences of their merchants' customers. They also claim this allows them to drive up conversion rates which translates into happier customers and increased loyalty. The Smart Deals system is fed by their lead optimizer which fuels the sales team to keep the deal factory growing. The final part of the trifecta is a new service called Groupon Now. It focuses on allowing Groupon users to get real time Groupon deals from merchants on their mobile devices as they are out and about in a particular area. Mason summarizes all this as follows, Daily Deals (customer acquisition), Groupon rewards (loyalty and retention) and Groupon Now (yield management).

Their CFO, Jason Child, tried to communicate a bright financial future despite some difficult circumstances surrounding them in the present. Find out more and watch a video of their roadshow presentation after the break.

In Living Color Returns to FOX

posted Saturday Oct 29, 2011 by Scott Ertz

In Living Color Returns to FOX

Sketch comedy shows come and go, but it isn't often that one goes and comes back. FOX has decided to follow the lead of the other networks and movie studios and reboot a previously cancelled series: . This series, unlike, say Knight Rider, launched a large number of careers, including Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and David Alan Grier.

The new version of the series, like the original will be produced by Keenan Ivory Wayans, the creator of the original series, and will feature unknown, young comedians. It will also, presumably, be controversial. The original series was full of groundbreaking comedy and things never before seen on television. Over time, as the series became more popular, the censors cracked down on the content more and finally cost the show its edge and therefore its viewership.

FOX is a lot more comfortable with being edgy since the 90s, with series like The Simpsons and / American Dad being among the top-rated shows on the network. Hopefully this will prevent the rebooted series from the same fate as its predecessor. We can look forward to two 30-minute specials airing this spring as a test for the market to see if the show will come back in the Fall or mid-season.

Are you looking forward to seeing new In Living Color, or should the networks leave past series in the past? Let us know in the coments section.

Amped Wireless Gives Us Long-Range WiFi

posted Saturday Oct 29, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Amped Wireless Gives Us Long-Range WiFi

Anyone who has ever worked in an office building can understand the problem of weak signal in the corners of the building. In our offices, we have great reception in the development office, but if you need to use it in a conference room, you have to hope someone has an open connection somewhere near. Now, Amped Wireless (not Amp'd Mobile) is coming to our rescue with its professional line of access points and repeaters, offering WiFi access up to 1.5 miles from the base.

The 600mW Pro-Smart Repeater SR600EX runs only $179.99 and claims a full 1.5 mile range. Considering that some standard Linksys and Netgear repeaters run in the same price range, I am a little concerned about the possibilities of this device. The company does offer a range increase guarantee, so if you try it and it is no better than what you have now, they will refund your money.

It seems like, for under $200, it is worth a shot if you are in the same boat that we are.

If you give it a shot, let us know in the comments. Also, to read the full press release, hit the break. To read more about the product, hit the source link.

Google Reader Updates Cause Protests?

posted Saturday Oct 29, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Google Reader Updates Cause Protests?

It turns out I'm not the only one concerned about Google Reader's "upgrades." In fact, it seems almost everyone dislikes the discontinuation of the internal sharing options. We'll start with the one that is more funny than anything else: a protest in Washington.

There is a group upset about the changes; they call themselves The Sharebros. They define themselves as "person(s) whom one is following and followed by on Google Reader (as formally recognized by a Google Reader founder)," and they are the most dedicated Google product userbase I have ever seen. They have created their own online language, including hashtags and pictograms.

A group of 15 or so Sharebros members got together to protest at Google's offices in Washington about the impending changes to Google Reader. The group came up with some clever, amusing signs and put their interests out in front of people. What they had on their side, however, was an adorable little girl who was holding the best sign ever.

They aren't the only ones upset about the changes. Hit the break to find out why Iranians are upset about the change and to see the signs from The Sharebros.

HP's Future: A Little Less Confusing

posted Saturday Oct 29, 2011 by Scott Ertz

HP's Future: A Little Less Confusing

I have a theory: HP and Netflix are actually the same company. Let me explain. Netflix has had some problems lately. First, they raised prices, then announced that they would spin off DVDs to a new company. A lot of backlash and the company undid some of its decisions. Reversing direction, however, did not prevent a loss of customers.

HP has been in a very similar boat. First, they announced intentions to spin-off their hardware division, as well as discontinuing webOS hardware. After a lot of backlash from customers and investors, they replaced their CEO, but new CEO Meg Whitman said she would stay the course. This week, HP announced that they had decided not to spin-off their hardware division, claiming it to be too expensive to accomplish. This reversal, however, might be too little too late for consumers who are concerned about the longevity of the company.

What are the plans for the hardware division and webOS? Find out after the break, along with an interview with Todd Bradley, HP's Personal Systems Group Executive Vice President and the full press release.

800,000 Customers Leave Netflix for Possibly Greener Pastures

posted Saturday Oct 29, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

800,000 Customers Leave Netflix for Possibly Greener Pastures

Ever since Netflix's confusing and frustrating, yet understandable and needed price hike (and brand restructuring), the company hasn't been doing as well as they have in the past. Aside from the thousands of negative comments on their Facebook page, clambering for Netflix to go back to their old price structure, they realized that after all is said and done, you shouldn't just increase your prices by 60% without at least telling your millions of subscribers why. Because of that, their idea of Quikster and separating DVDs by mail from their Internet streaming service quickly fell through and Reed Hastings pretty much said that they were just kidding this whole time. What a bunch of goofballs over there at Netflix, right?

Still, customers didn't find Hastings' comedic timing to their liking and complained more about how dumb of an idea splitting up the companies was to begin with. What happened next lies after the break.

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