Sunday, 25th February 2018

LivingSocial—What the Venture Capitalists See that You Don’t

Posted on 06. Apr, 2011 by in Blogs, FINANCE, LEADERSHIP

Living Social – Tim O’Shaughnessy

When I read in Potomac Tech Wire that LivingSocial closed a $400 million round, the figure was almost too large to comprehend. What makes LivingSocial so valuable? While I haven’t read everything there is to know about this particular investment, I have some thoughts.

It begins with leadership. CEO Tim O’Shaghnessy has a clearly articulated vision of success that inspires his team to execute and achieve astonishing results. His essay about the company’s victory over Groupon, dated July 2012, gives evidence to that fact.

Next is culture. Building a great business is all about the people. Pair deeply rooted core values with a rock-solid identity and you’re able to attract the kind of talent you need (and want). Establish a fun, empowering culture around a product or service your people are passionate about and you’ve created perpetual, positive momentum. When your people come to work energized and engaged, they naturally do the right things and your customers get the best possible experience.

Finally, LivingSocial may be disruptive. Think of Amazon. Think not only of how Amazon changed the game, but also that the company has invested $175 million in LivingSocial. Why on earth would they do that?

Amazon sees tremendous value in what goes on behind the scenes—the same value the VCs see. LivingSocial is about gaining broad and deep market intelligence and refining that data to become more and more powerful over time. The company’s intrinsic value isn’t based on an affiliate program so much as the abilitity to become a monster aggregator of consumer data and intelligence. This core compentency wholly aligns with Amazon’s.

Where does online privacy fit into all of this? I’m not quite sure yet. Anonymity and privacy are not really the same thing. I feel pretty confident that the information LivingSocial aggregates is, in fact, anonymous.

Will the mega investment pay off? I rather suspect so. It all gets back to leadership and having a strong sense of identity and purpose. And it doesn’t hurt that LivingSocial is currently #2 in the industry. Fighting to be #1 is a powerful rallying cry.

Post By Marcia Moran (314 Posts)

Marcia Moran

Marcia Moran

Marcia Moran helps organizations reimagine what’s possible and provides the framework for clients to achieve stellar, long-term results.

As a Performance Architect, Marcia uses the principles discovered through neuroleadership and positive psychology to deliberately design the employee experience and corporate culture. Blended with pragmatic systems design, these elements free people to play to their strengths while reducing strife in the workplace. As a result, people can push beyond their known limits as individuals, as teams, and as companies.

Marcia is also the Vice President of Marketing for Intelishift, a colocation company with operations in Ashburn, VA and Silicon Valley. Prior to moving to the Metro DC area, she worked as a business consultant for Up ‘N Running and advised startups and small businesses in the areas of management, operations, and marketing.

Marcia earned an MBA from Chapman University. She loves to travel, speaks Norwegian, and unwinds by kayaking and painting landscapes. Marcia recently co-founded Positive Business DC with Shannon Polly and Donna Hemmert. Positive Business DC provides resources to help people increase the levels of well-being in the workplace and at home.

Website: → Performance Architect


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to “LivingSocial—What the Venture Capitalists See that You Don’t”

  1. marcia_moran 6 April 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    Thanks, Hulya. I’ve had mixed feelings as well, especially since i work for a company grounded in the principles of the consumers right to own and control their data in the cloud. I met someone from the company that runs LivngSocial’s analytics engine on Monday. I was impressed with the power of the engine as well as the high degree of integrity and passion this particular employee demonstrated. There’s no question in my mind LivingSocial’s a home run.

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