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Thank You, LivingSocial


After a meteoric rise, LivingSocial has had a tough go recently. Between layoffs, lowered valuations, competitor out-maneuvering, and one of the longest downtimes I’ve ever seen in a consumer site, it’s pretty hard to imagine them fully recovering from this to the grandeur that they used to be. For better or for worse, online forums have been watching, and in some cases even cheering, it’s demise. I’m sure seeing that the support of your local community that once championed you has reversed polarity can only worsen the decrease in morale they’ve been experiencing in the past few months.

I want to thank LivingSocial.

  • They showed it was possible to build a wildly successful startup in DC. Not DC meaning Virginia. Downtown DC. If you’ve had a chance to visit their office, you’ll be amazed this is a few blocks from the White House, not the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • They built a team of some of the sharpest product talent in the world – and then grew their own via Hungry Academy.
  • They inspired the local community – everyone knew someone who works or worked at LivingSocial, and loved it.
  • Groups like the DC Tech Meetup, ProudlyMadeInDC, and Foster.ly, while not directly created because of LS, were able to ride the rocketship of enthusiasm over LivingSocial’s early success, and help serve as continuing beacons of entrepreneurial activity in the region.
  • The talent created and incubated in LivingSocial’s many offices have and will feed other startups in the area, kickstarting the flywheel of talent that a startup ecosystem so badly needs.

So, LivingSocial, thank you.

And if anyone at LivingSocial (esp. dev/UX/design/sales) is looking for their next opportunity, Contactually would be happy to have you. Email me.


  • Right on. Easy to bash these guys and so many miss that they are an extraordinary DC story. They soared higher than most and the story ain’t over until it’s over.

  • Yeah, I agree — they really accomplished a lot and broke a lot of barriers. Obviously made some major missteps, but sheesh — that growth was meteoric. Good luck finding anyone who can outperform them in that respect — four dudes making FB apps to thousands of employees in just a few years.

  • Agree with everything except your first point. How was it ever “wildly successful”? Raising a lot of money and not being able to build a sustainable business is hardly “success.” As Tim said recently, it’s still a startup.

    I think the Hungry Academy was the company’s best contribution to DC though.

  • Well, it wasn’t wildly profitable — that’s true. If you believe that profits are the reason companies exist, they have failed. But there are other metrics.

    I think the jury’s still out on Hungry Academy — I hope they do go on to do awesome things, post-Living Social. As far as I can tell, they quickly trained a bunch of junior devs instead of hiring additional people with experience. I’m not sure how that benefitted anyone other than LS — maybe they’ll start their own tech companies, maybe they’ll move to another city. Perhaps you can elaborate on why you think Hungry Academy stands out more than, say, their growth or the VC money they funneled into the DC area? I am interested to hear your thoughts.

  • Really like the community sentiment of this post sans talent pitch. Although I’m sure some will appreciate knowing there are other opportunities out there for them if/when needed.

  • I could not agree more. LivingSocial was an amazing place to work and I would not be where I am today without it. Their community was unlike any other – and there are others struggling to recreate the culture they naturally had.

  • Couldn’t agree with you more Zvi. Just like AOL before it. It’s easy to knock these once high-flying companies, but both innovated and changed the world (in AOL’s case) in a significant way.

  • Hey Rodrigo, I know Zvi well and I’m sure he wants to monetize his web site. So since you like his site so much, why don’t you send him a check for $500 to guarantee it’s monetization. While you’re at it, I’ll take a check too.

By Zvi
Zvi Band Relationships are our most important asset.

Zvi Band

Founder of Contactually.
I'm also passionate about growing the DC startup community, and I've founded Proudly Made in DC and the DC Tech Meetup.