Just as Groupon has taken hold on our collective imagination as customers, it has also become the gold standard of small businesses looking for a lift — much beyond its many competitors and imitators. There's now a "Groupon effect" the same way as there is an "Oprah effect," where those that offer themselves as a Groupon deal get such a rush of publicity and new customers that some can't handle the influx.
We wanted to see what it was like to be a Groupon, so we went down the street from the dealnews office in New York to the home of HowAboutWe.com, a dating service that launched last year on Valentine's Day. Co-founders Brian Schechter and Aaron Schildkrout, and national community manager Erin Scottberg, allowed us in with our cameras to tell their Groupon story. Here's how the day of the sale, and the subsequent days, went for them: