"It's like seeing the future when you do it" - Tim O'Shaughnessy, LivingSocial CEO & Co-Founder
Here are a couple of key takeaways from this interview:
1. Real-time location-based offers = demand fulfillment: When we want a question answered in real-time, our phone will be able to answer it for us ... regardless of what the question is. Services like Foursquare and Yelp can tell you where to go within a certain radius of where you are; however, it seems LivingSocial is taking it one step further by enticing you with deals. I can imagine a collaboration between Foursquare and LivingSocial in the future; whereby, a social-layer gets added on top of the deals so that you can find out where your friends have eaten and which deals they recommend trying.
2. Is there a danger of commoditization? Henry asked a very interesting question regarding the ability for merchants to control deals in real-time and make adjustments based on competition. Will this lead merchants down a rabbit hole? There are many sides to this argument; however, if I took the most simplistic and assumed a consumer was solely interested in the price (the best deal) ... might this lead to a bidding war to see how low one can go? This may be a very shallow question because there are certainly other factors to consider here; however, it will be interesting to see whether or not this happens.
3. There will be no need for wallets in the future: As Tim said in the interview ... there was no need for a wallet to be used at any point during this entire series of events. Can you imagine a future without wallets? Sure you may think that it's a little risky to lay it all on the line with a phone ... what if you lose it? What if it gets stolen? What if you have an 'incident' involving a toilet (classic #fail)? All valid questions no doubt but I would like to turn your attention to two simple trends: 1. The cloud (your information is not actually stored on your phone, your phone is merely a device for displaying things from the cloud) and 2. Increased levels of security due to recently publicized hacks of major networks (encryption levels will only rise).
Final Thoughts: This is only the beginning.