The Coupon Company You Know

Lauren Etter profiles Groupon and its colorful CEO. On the website's many copycats:

Domain squatting is a common pitfall of the Internet world, but it can be especially problematic with a digital business that is easily replicable.

"Groupon isn't a bricks-and-mortar business. It's clicks rather than bricks," says James O'Rourke, a professor of management at the University of Notre Dame. "As a result, they're heavily dependent on owning the domain name and having local familiarity with their brand. If it's not capital-intensive, if the barriers to entry are low, and if you don't have proprietary technology, then anybody can get in the business. It's not like you're building airplanes."