Too many shortcomings before the IPO, revising public documents, confronting about the business model, too many canceled IPO decisions… The list just goes on and there are only negative signs on Groupon. We can now just sit back and watch it fall.

Investors were fighting over a piece of Groupon Inc. on its first morning as a public company, sending shares of the online coupon company up nearly 50%. In the early hours of trading on the Nasdaq exchange Friday, shares of Groupon were up 43%. The $20 IPO was already above the $16 and the rest of the stock market was crumbling. We are now used to the hype around internet companies and can only predict a sharp fall in the coming weeks. You don’t need to look too far to compare just remember what happened to Linkedin. Groupon is no Google but is the second largest deal in the US right after Google.

Groupon stock finished its first day of trading at $26.11, for a gain of nearly 31% and it still remains as a modest gain. At the end of the day, the company enters the weekend with a market value of $16.65 billion. Their performance will only help the rest who has been reluctant to tackle the IPO market in the middle of global market crisis of a life time. Will this promising perfomance give the right amount of confidence to other social media giants such as Facebook Inc. and Zynga Inc. only time will show.

As for me, Groupon hype was dead a while back when I unsubscribed from their most annoying newsletters and offerings of teeth whitening, laser hair removals and many endless amounts of unnecessary and irrelevant offers that actually make you spend ridiculous amounts of money instead of saving it. Unless they change the variety and maintain the relationships with their partners I will not be using their service. There were just too many negative experiences that in my mind they will never be the next Amazon and Ebay.

 

Last Easter during a trip to Turkey I ended up arranging some Groupon deals in Istanbul which were just fabulous and helped me to explore many restaurants and spas in great value. While I was travelling I have talked to many people who got so hooked on to it but eventually only got tired of the same deals. Let’s take a look at some of the top markets of Groupon above. Although Groupon’s largest audience by sheer size is the U.S., its largest market by online penetration is Poland where it reached 12.4% of visitors age 15+ from a home or work location in April 2011.

What were your experiences with Groupon ? Do you think their shares will be falling fast?