Street Fight Daily: Google’s New Small Business Tool, Why Top Amazon Exec Went To Groupon

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology

Google_Pin_locationGoogle’s Maps Engine Pro Aims To Help Small Businesses Visualize Location Data As Easily As They Make A Pie Chart (TechCrunch)
At Google’s San Francisco offices, the company introduced Maps Engine Pro, a utility that allows small businesses to use Google’s location tools to create maps out of location databases. Among the decision-making tools will be the ability to optimize the locations of your people and company assets, engage your users and build apps that take advantage of all of Google’s layers.

What Legacy Local Media Can Learn From the Red Sox (Street Fight)
Josh Fenton: In advance of 2013, the Red Sox again fired the team’s manager, changed the executive suite, and reinvented the workforce. The new goal: replace high-cost and complaining “superstars” with a talented new group who bought into the new model. The organization became more horizontal and the salary of the team dropped by 20%. Meanwhile, over the course of the year, productivity increased by 40%.

Why Amazon Prime’s Top Exec Bolted for a New Job at Groupon (AllThingsD)
Over the last three years, even as it has struggled to replicate its early popularity, Groupon has attracted several execs who had successful runs at Internet retail giant Amazon. Recently, the deals company added another Amazonian to its team: Robbie Schwietzer, a 10-year veteran there who had been running Amazon Prime, its very successful free two-day shipping membership business. I spoke to Schwietzer last week to find out why he would leave a high-profile role within Amazon to work at Groupon, which is still transitioning away from a reliance on daily deals.

6 Tools Restaurants Can Use to Fill Tables at the Last Minute (Street Fight)
With one in five dinner reservations resulting in a no-show, according to some estimates, restaurant owners are always searching for low-cost ways to fill empty tables at the last-minute. Utilizing a combination of geotargeted messaging and real-time inventory control, restaurants are able to incentivize would-be diners to come in and fill tables that would otherwise have remained empty. Here are six tools that restaurants can use to fill tables at the last minute.

PaperG Brushes Off Competition From Google, Continues To Grow Profitably (PandoDaily)
Despite all PaperG’s success, CEO Roger Lee and his team got a major surprise when Google entered their category last month with a similar automated display ad builder called “Ready Image Ads.” Lee has a cautiously optimistic perspective on newest product from the ad industry’s 800 pound gorilla, saying that it validates the need for solutions in this space.

What Amazon’s Q3 Financials Might Hold For LivingSocial (Washington Business Journal)
This will be the first quarterly report for LivingSocial since announcing it would move away from “daily” deals and introduce new long-term online coupons. More importantly, the results may show whether the cuts of the last few months are starting to affect the bottom line.

With Buyback, 16-Year-Old Startup WhitePages Is Doing Something Very Rare With $80 Million (Business Insider)
A couple months ago, WhitePages CEO Alex Algard and CFO Jason Eglit used company profits and some debt to buy all the WhitePages stock owned by outside investors TCV and Providence for $80 million. The company, which is nearly 20 years old, wouldn’t reveal the valuation at which it bought its stock back, but said its current revenue run rate is $60 million, so you can figure the company is worth a couple hundred million.

How Startups Are Shaping The Future Of Mobile (iMedia Connection)
“Location-based marketing will continue to increase, as the technology is able to accurately provide location data within a tighter perimeter feel giving marketers the confidence that they are connecting with consumers who are actually “there,” Ed Kaczmarek, director of innovation and emerging technology at Mondelez International, shared in an interview. “We have found that there is currently a wide range of accuracy among various mobile networks and location startups.”

YPlan Launches On Android (TechCrunch)
YPlan has only been around for less than a year, but the company is rapidly covering new ground. After expanding from the UK into New York city last month, the social planning service is today launching an Android app.The company works by aggregating cool events, parties, and activities happening within the next 24 hours, eternally answering the question “What are we going to do tonight?”

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