You're really just, when you read a story like this on HN at this point, even though it's a story about a bunch of people that made good on the dream of a big chunk of everyone who reads HN (or at least what used to be a big chunk of them, in the time before 'pg started mailing his companies to stop commenting on HN because it's a fever swamp) --- you're really just like waiting for this whole story to be another godawful stupid referendum on everyone's third- or fourth- hand information on Groupon.
The strategy that I could see working well would be for Groupon to extend Groupon/FeeFighters to include a Shopify competitor. They have the credit card processing and the relationships with local businesses. "Are you enthusiastic about selling online? Want to extend your online presence and sales?"
Just continuing FeeFighters as-is wouldn't really help Groupon substantially. I mean, FeeFighters might be profitable and a good business, but if it doesn't tie-in nicely to one of Groupon's current or future businesses, it might not be a good purchase. So, I think we all expect something is going to happen - something to leverage a collective strength rather than basically being two separate companies with separate revenue and separate customers just jointly owned.
I think there's a reason why some might be worried. When a company gets acquired, sometimes that product gets discontinued (even if claims are made otherwise during the acquisition). Othertimes, the product languishes. Hopefully that won't be the case here, but it's hardly unheard of. Heck, even without a merger, directions can change. I remember when Heroku had a web editing interface and they gave that up well before being bought. But when an acquisition happens, sometimes new combinations of people lead to new ideas and the old ideas don't seem as exciting (or as likely to be useful/profitable). The acquiring company may think they will continue the acquired property, but six months later it becomes clear that they want to spend their resources elsewhere. I'm not saying that will happen - in fact, Heroku's purchase by Salesforce is a perfect contradiction as it has done wonderful things since acquisition. However, Jaiku, FeedBurner, Dodgeball, Gizmo5, DimDim, and others all show that a product can be discontinued or languish in a state that feels like no one is looking at it after an acquisition.
I guess if there was some announcement of "everyone, we're working on a new way to get local businesses online easily with FeeFighters credit card processing" we'd all feel like "nice! I can see how that would fit well and will continue to be an awesome, actively developed product." While there's no real reason to doubt the post, at least in the back of our heads we have to be thinking about whether it was a talent acquisition or how committed Groupon is going to be to FeeFighters.
Consider the biggest change Groupon has made in the past 5 months was the implementation of Groupon Scheduler. Scheduler is a free booking service to help merchants of the world organize appointments. It's free except for a link to Groupon-- the price of using the scheduler is awareness of the fact that you could run a Deal or Now! deal with a few clicks and a phone call.
Considering that Groupon spent so much of their engineering talent on Scheduler, it's easy to see how a company with universal small business appeal like Fee Fighters in it's current form (give or take a few reminder links) becomes super desirable to Groupon.
Wow, really? That's unfortunate that HN can no longer function PR-less.
BTW, would you mind linking to a source, or something? I must have missed it when it happened, would be interesting to read. Thanks in advance.
Worth a read: http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/12/27/should-startups-fo...
Companies sometimes make acquisitions to augment what they are lacking.
At this point I think you could literally put "this is not a talent acquisition" in your announcement and still see people say stuff like this.
I think it was a fair question.
However, if Group on can prove their value as an online marketing channel, then they can earn a steady revenue stream. One of Andrew Warner's interviewees did that, running a largely automated platform
Next up - Grubhub!
But as another Chicago-based startup founder that has had the pleasure of doing business with the FF team in person, I wish them all the best, and am confident that they will stick to their guns and keep FF/Samurai the quality product that it is.
So long story short: not much point in asking the second question.
We're super thrilled to be a part of the Groupon team, it has been a great outcome for everyone.
I was going to answer the questions that I could but Thomas has answered all of them accurately for me anyway.
It seems little more than a developer acquisition which will result in feefighters shutting down in 3.....2.....1.....
EDIT: I shouldn't post when coming back drunk from the pub, but seriously, don't be proud about this, you sold out. This is like seeing your favourite band sign to Sony. If acquistion was your end goal then gratz.
FeeFighers biggest weakness is that no one has ever heard of them. Groupon can fix that problem with almost no effort.