While most recent internet start-ups have focused on creating advertising-backed systems, the ultra-popular new group buying site Groupon.com has a different trick up its sleeve. Instead of making its money from ads, the site offers huge discount deals directly to customers, connecting to businesses around the world and offering its huge archive of subscribers as a potential promotional resource. It's a formula that's made it one of the fastest growing businesses in history. Founded in late 2008 by its current CEO, Andrew Mason, Groupon's innovative marketing techniques and great deals turned it into one of the web's most visited properties very quickly.
However, the company's success story hasn't been entirely positive. From concerns about the long-term viability of its business model to run-ins with the law over its coupons, Groupon has attracted a great deal of controversy and criticism since it was launched just over three years ago. One of the site's biggest criticisms has been its occasional negative impact on its own clients. Some of the site's clients have found themselves inundated with orders after using Groupon for their promotions, claiming that they've been unable to cope with the massive demand the site generated. It's a complain that, at face value, seems ludicrous, that is until you look into the metrics and sales incentives that were used to fuel Groupon's early growth as a company.