Buy and sell tickets online with GrouponLive

I was very surprise today when I saw this news in TechCrunch the partnership between Groupon and Live nation to sell “exclusive” “discount” tickets.

I always have this idea to create a small product to disrupt this online second market tickets business.

As a user I don’t think this new solution is going to solve every problem in this huge market.

I don’t like Groupon for various reasons. It is a cool idea but they need to rethink their distribution strategy.


I will try to ship my ticket solution before the end of the summer. This ticket solution is going to be the solution I was always looking for in a tickets service.



ezineArticle and content farm: they are still a problem

It has been a long time since my last post but I was very busy with so many projects. I am back and I was following the news.

Google finally attack those content farms.

One of them was ezineArticle. I showed it before. They are a content farm. Today they send an e-mail to bring more quality in their network.

This is the e-mail:

We are not stating anything new when we say that quality matters in your articles.


It does.


It always has.


That’s why we’ve made some tough decisions lately and instituted some changes that will impact you immediately. The end user-experience is important to us and should be to you. The value you provide in your articles matters since it’s not only an investment in your future as a credible author, it’s an investment of time to your reader. Getting traffic today isn’t worth the cost if your reader quickly realizes that you’re not in it to help them – that your intent was selfish – and they’re gone as quickly as they came.


In an effort to help you succeed even more as an expert author in your niche, we’ll be moving forward with 5 changes that will be effective immediately. This is round one.


Effective Immediately:


Increased Quality Checks – We’ve doubled the review time per article that our Editors are allowed to focus on format, grammar, spelling, and consistency.


WP Plugin and API – We will no longer be accepting article submissions via these tools.


Deadlink /Link Diagnostic Center – If your article contained a dead link, we previously would unlink it within 35 days of your first notification and send you 5 notifications to encourage you to fix it. This process will change and if after 2 weeks your link has not been fixed, we will unlink it. You can always edit your article at a future time to update your link.


Basic Plus Membership level – You were previously allotted 25 article submissions in this membership level if you did not meet the Platinum membership requirements at the end of your first 10 article submissions. This level was established to help you gain the additional experience and understanding to achieve the Platinum level (quality with quantity). What seemingly occurred was a vicious cycle of the continuous adding of 25 submissions if you still did not meet the requirements. This is no longer effective.


The standard 25 now becomes 10. We’ve done this so that we can monitor your progress more efficiently and help coach you on what it will take to earn Platinum. It also weeds out those who fail to or unwilling to learn. If after those 10 additional submissions we feel that you are not gaining momentum, you will not be allotted any more submissions and we will no longer accept future article submissions from you. Your value in using our platform is to increase the effectiveness of your writing. While not always an easy feat for non-writers, we all need to learn.


New Minimum 400 Word Count – We’ve been talking about this for a few years now and made the decision that effective immediately, we’ve increased the minimum word count to 400. While we know that we run the risk of frustrating a few experienced high quality authors who can write well in fewer words, we feel that it is the best choice to make. We have not discounted the fact that quality can come in 250-399 words and we are working on an idea that spawned four years ago (but never became live) where we’ll offer another membership level and reward those authors who define the high standards of quality. In fact, along with other amenities, this membership level will be hypersensitive to quality and NOT quantity. More on that will be discussed in the following weeks.

For now, these are the changes that will immediately be going into effect. Watch this Blog in the coming days and weeks for more information.

First it is clear, I was right, ezineArticle is a content farm and this e-mail prove it.

Can they improve their quality?

I do not think so because money will always be a problem.

Mahalo tackles this problem by paying their authors.

Therefore they make sure the quality is there. I was a big Mahalo hater before but now they raised the bar. It is not perfect but it is 10 times better than the average.

I will wait a little bit but right now I cannot recommend ezineArticle.

My best alternative is with your own domain name.


Online Marketing web

Trey Smith and The software system is a huge lie… an iPhone app is not easy

I had no choice to talk about it again because my inbox was on fire today. Almost every top internet marketer in the make money online niche was promoting this launch.

software system

I noticed something crazy though. They use Microsoft and Apple success to justify this “new” service.

Yes Microsoft made billions of dollars with software but it is not easy to make money with software. It is easier than 10 years ago for example but it is still not easy.

If it was that easy every software developers would be billionaire. I will go as far to say that no software developers would be on odesk to look for work….

Why is it not easy to develop software?

To answer that question I strongly recommend that you read Bill Gates bio on Wikipedia right here.

You will notice 3 things:

Bill Gates was extremely smart.(above average)

Bill Gates was a real entrepreneur (strong passion to build something new) and a smart business man.

Bill Gates was lucky to get one of the best deals of all time with IBM.

It easy to outsource a developer but it is extremely hard to develop a smart and bug free software.

Ok are you mad because you will get fewer jobs in North America?

Not really because big companies like Google Microsoft Apple and Facebook are still hiring top notch developer for a reason. It is hard to develop smart software.

By the way I check the TV to internet software he was talking about and the software suck.

Nevertheless, it does not mean you should not buy this program or not consider software development. It is a great opportunity but it is not the easiest path.

My last word about that:

It is extremely easy to build software but it is harder to maintain and debug that software. On top of that you need a great marketing and a great customer service.

Sorry you may end up losing money.

6 month ago those marketer would go crazy over Facebook and twitter now it’s all about software.

PS: to make sure I’m not crazy, Trey Smith hire full time those developers because it is extremely hard to develop and maintain software.

Online Marketing web

Trey Smith and The software system is a huge lie… an iPhone app is not easy

I use a special e-mail address to sign up to every “Internet Marketing” newsletter possible. This week, I noticed a new product launch from Trey Smith about making iPhone app. As a computer science student I was very interested about this “product”.

I land on this page after I click

I noticed many problems:

First this title: Download my free app maker…

Sound like a push button to create an app but it is not.

As you read in the right bottom corner, it is a template ….. Lie number 1.

Make an iPhone app under $200 and then “How I sold over $2000 worth of my app in only 18 days….”

The way it is put together you might think you only need $200 to make over $2000…

Back to reality: the app that he uses as an example cost him more than $200 (thousands….). On top of that he hire the developer full time now.

You might think, ok , it is still a good deal.

There is a twist because the gold rush is not as big as it was before….

Month before this product launch he offer a service or tool (I don’t remember) in exchange that you buy his app.

This all product launch make you think it is easy to build an app. It is not easy. You need the right team with the right idea and with the perfect marketing plan. ( if it was easy I would be richer than Bill gates now )

On top of that you need to compete with big companies like EA in the video games business….

To give a better idea … The daily, from, it is the new app from News Corps. They are spending like 500k a week in their app….

Source (

Before you go crazy in this new venture, you should know it is not easy and it is very competitive.


Groupon dirty secrets… Groupon employee reply back

The other week I wrote an article about Groupon. This article was very popular on hacker news. It was my biggest story over there since a long time.

However this story happened at a very bad time (laugh) because I was switching to new severs. I experience too many downtimes. I am very happy that more then 20 000 visitors enjoy that story.

My article was not complete and I could have done a better job (my graph) but overall I love it. Today I want to share a comment from a Groupon employee:

[Groupon Employee Speaking]

Keep in mind that when that study was done (June 2009), Groupon was 9 months old. Since then, Groupon has expanded to dozens of countries and hundreds of cities, raised over $1B, hired thousands of employees, and refined its processes a zillion-fold.

It’s no secret in the company that our long term success is based on a) customers having great experiences, and b) merchants getting a return on the cost of their discount and fees to us. Everything is viewed through those two values. Deals are scheduled so that customers are always delighted (e.g. so there aren’t 4 steakhouses in one week), and sized so that merchants don’t get raped by the economics (e.g. if a typical bill at a restaurant is $100, then the deal might be $60 for $30. Also, quantity is estimated based on the merchant’s capacity as well so that merchants don’t get overwhelmed and customers still get a good experience. In the video for the recent Japanese new year debacle (, Andrew mentions that deal sizing and scaling is already done in some markets and in response to the Japan incident, will now be done in all markets to ensure the experience continues to be good for everyone. Short-term profit maximization isn’t what builds lasting businesses, and the execs here know it.

With something growing as ridiculously fast as Groupon, data get stale fast. It’s like if you found a study from 2006 where someone complained that they couldn’t find anyone they knew on Facebook.

It’s always wise to take a company’s numbers with a grain of sale, but with a fast growing company, the numbers they selectively release are usually the best you’re going to get.

Now my comment:

Yes, the data is old (2009) and yes the company was young (it is a young company). However Groupon has a huge after customer service problem. (it is better every month….)

I will not talk about the mess in Japan…. It is deeper than that… Many real local businesses (at least in Montreal) are doing a fantastic job to make it better than Groupon.

Even thought the numbers I publish are old I still find the same numbers in 2011. That does not mean Groupon is a bad service. It is a good service. It is good but not great. Not being great is a huge problem in this very competitive and new market.

I collect and track the whole Groupon experience from a merchant perspective.

So stay tune for that killer article with numbers and tips that you may like.

On another note, I think there is better service than Groupon out there. LivingSocial and Beyond the rack are hot right now. I am testing Beyond the rack (they are a Montreal start up) right now.

I will talk about my whole experience with Beyond the rack later. (After I receive my product)