Joel Gross

Facebook vs Google vs LivingSocial vs Groupon

Ughh. Blech. Yuck. Eww.

Just some of the reactions I have had over the last two weeks as I have listened to the drivel coming out of Facebook HQ and Google.

Give me a break. I don’t know how much more I can handle. Seriously, why isn’t anyone else reacting with the same revulsion that I am?

What do I find so repulsive?

Facebook and Google hog the dinner table, while Living Social and Groupon starve

Facebook and Google, lick their plates clean, while Living Social and Groupon look on hungrily

That image should say it all.

Facebook and Google, frontrunners of their field and one time innovators, are now becoming the ugly bully, leveraging buy outs, whole sale copying, and some dirty maneuvers in an attempt to secure their position and relevance to the the changing web marketplace.

If you’ve been reading our blog, you’ve seen near weekly reporting on how these companies have failed to create a forward thinking environment where creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirits are fostered. Instead they live off of fear, desperate to make their quarterly numbers and avoid losing any ground in comScore’s latest statistic release. Sorry to say, these two companies are truly rotten.

Some would make the argument that Facebook has always been in the business of ‘beg, borrow, and steal’ with the numerous court cases constantly running against Mark Zuckerberg for his creation and operation of the company. I won’t dispute the merits of the many claims against him, where he’s accused of ripping off partners, other innovators, and one time friends to make his company grow.

But Google, home to the ‘Do No Evil’ jargon, continues to show its true colors as it desperately tries to impress its investors with a new product that they hope will succeed or at least be marginally adopted by its end users. The latest target? Daily Deals sites.

Living Social and Groupon are two similar daily deals sites. There are hundreds more out there specializing in targeted vertical industries and particular themes. Both companies have worked hard and tried to be somewhat creative in their marketing, product offering, and interaction with their consumers. Groupon, bravely, turned down Google’s massive buyout offer late last year, and ever since has been working to prepare for the storm they knew would follow, when Google attempted to rip off their product.

It will be interesting to see if these companies can weather the storm. I have a hard time believing that they will be able to maintain their current growth and reach pace with Google and Facebook weighing in.

The web used to be a place where creativity, innovation, and the ‘next big thing’ were harbored and launched. Now its even more fraught with dangers and pollutants than many other industries. The web has become a place where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the end user/consumer is left to suffer and wonder why the age of innovation and integration suddenly has lost some of its luster.

I would love to see one of these companies’ CEOs come out and say that they are no longer focused on ripping off other people’s ideas and inventions, and instead are going to be hiring the best and the brightest to come up with something new. Since that won’t happen, I’d rather just see them both evaporate, and make room for someone else to create and dream up a new concept that change the way we use the web.

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