Every so often a marketing fad comes along in digital media that makes companies willing to adopt it so quickly that they wind up bending and twisting their business models like Silly Putty. There were Facebook apps. There were Foursquare-style "game mechanics." These days, short-term retail deals have taken over.
Of course, none of this is new. Following the runaway success of Groupon, which offers a steep daily discount-a-day in dozens of cities around the world, with the condition that a minimum number of buyers must sign on; and Gilt, which has built an empire of low-priced designer … Read more