LivingSocial has had a great year, ending the year with $175 million in investment from Amazon earlier this month. But like many success stories, LivingSocial didn't suddenly spring up wholly formed. Indeed, the company has had to pivot several times before landing on their current form - and success.As one of the leaders in the group-buying space,
In the video below, LivingSocial co-founder and CTO Aaron Batalion talks about the company's previous manifestations - consultants, Facebook app developers, and so on - and the principles that helped motivate the company to change direction like this.
In 2009, LivingSocial acquired BuyYourFriendADrink, a company that ran on- and offline promotions that brought customers into bars for beverage companies' product launches. One of the salespeople, walking from bar to bar to try to sell them on the product, recognized that there are other businesses that had similar needs. And so LivingSocial pivoted into the group-buying and daily deals space.
Batalion speaks of "not being satiated" and so always being ready to change directions if need be. He stresses "lean startup" principles, quick iteration, and intre-preneurial rule (support the people inside your startup that have "really killer ideas").
The talk below was given at the Tech Cocktail Startup Mixology conference in October.