Check out the way Groupon bought the domain When the service launched it was on because they didn’t own

I excerpted the video & transcript from my Groupon Interview with Andrew Mason (which is one of my best, so I hope you check it out).

The transcript (video is below)

The guy who actually writes all the content had the idea for the name and its like the perfect name [“Groupon”].

We emailed the people that own it and said, ‘Hey, are you interested in selling?’

They said, ‘No.’

We said, ‘Fine.’

At that point, we had no idea where [the business was] going. We went and worked on the project. We got some momentum.

A couple months in, we emailed again and said, ‘Hey, are you interested in selling?’

He said, ‘No, definitely not.’

We said, ‘Just curious, what are you planning on doing with it?’

He said, ‘Well, I live in England and I’m interested in, at some point, starting a group coupon service, where somebody would be able to buy a coupon that, if they bring four people into a restaurant, all five of those people would get a discount.’

So, it’s like a slightly different take on the group buying, group coupon model.

We said, ‘That’s interesting. We’re doing something somewhat similar to that in the United States, so, maybe we can work together on this. We can take this to Europe.’

He said, ‘No way.’

We said, ‘Okay.’

We continued operating.

Then we had a trademark for Groupon. That trademark extended to England.

We contact him and say, ‘Hey, you can launch that thing, but you can’t use the name Groupon because we have a trademark on it.’

So then, he decided he wanted to sell.

I think we bought it in May 2009 or something like that for maybe $250,000, which seemed like a lot at the time and now it seems cheap.

The clip

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