LivingSocial Was Almost Toast, But A Quick Pivot Saved It

Social deals site LivingSocial is one of 2010’s biggest tech success stories, snapping up two quick rounds of funding early in the year and a big investment of $175 million from Amazon in December. But as cofounder and CTO Aaron Batalion explains in a YouTube video posted yesterday, the company almost didn’t make it out of its old business of selling Facebook apps.

LivingSocial stumbled into social deals almost by accident. In 2009, LivingSocial acquired BuyYourFriendADrink, a small company that convinced online users to show up at bars for product launches by beverage companies. A salesperson for that app was walking between bars trying to sell them on the idea, and noticed that there were lots of other businesses, like restaurants and spas, in the neighbourhood. Daily deals sites were just taking off, and LivingSocial decided to try yet another experiment. This one worked.

Batalion also gives useful startup tips like focus on execution rather than ideas, and get things done fast to get feedback. The speech was given at a event in October.

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