chicago is usually not mentioned in the same sentence as silicon valley, except when the sentence is, "chicago is no silicon valley." but we have more tech highlights than one would expect. one example is Groupon.
groupon is a simple group-triggered coupon concept that started here in aught-seven and is now in 30-something markets and, according to a recent round of funding, worth about $250 million.
so perhaps it's no surprise that some other chicagoans just started a competing site, YouSwoop.
logo-ly speaking, YouSwoop is clearly superior. and they did a nice job of drumming up attention yesterday with a PR effort that included inviting people into a truck to grab dollar bills blowing around.
in a crain's chicago business article, the founder pointed out that Groupon is a coupon triggered by a group, but that YouSwoop is a coupon for individuals - no group required. that means YouSwoop's business plan is to cleverly ignore what makes Groupon unique. hmmm...
it's lovely to see chicago companies succeed, and YouSwoop has shown some promising marketing chops. but good marketing can't hide a mediocre business plan.