Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2012 (Revised August 2013)

What's the Deal with LivingSocial?

by Michael I. Norton, Luc Wathieu, Betsy Page Sigman and Marco Bertini

Abstract

Tim O'Shaughnessy, the 29-year-old CEO of LivingSocial, is growing a revolutionary worldwide business of "daily deals"—in which retailers offer a heavily-discounted product or service available for purchase for brief (often 24-hour) windows. The case explores the complicated sharing of risks and rewards between LivingSocial, participating retailers, and customers, focusing on the return on investment in both the short- and longer-term for LivingSocial's retail partners. In addition, given the rapid growth of the daily deals space and the accompanying proliferation of competitors including Groupon and Amazon.com, the case focuses on the need for constant innovation in product offerings to maintain differentiation from copycats.

Keywords: Web Services Industry;

Citation:

Norton, Michael I., Luc Wathieu, Betsy Page Sigman, and Marco Bertini. "What's the Deal with LivingSocial?" Harvard Business School Case 512-065, February 2012. (Revised August 2013.)