Alex Bain posted an interesting note on his new company called Crowdsprout today. It's the first media coverage I've seen on the company, which is going after group buying. The article was by Gus Sentementes in the Baltimore Sun. According to the article:
"CrowdSprout is groups of buyers banding together, receiving the best prices available on their favorite products by purchasing in volume."
Group buying on the Internet has been done before. In fact, the fine folks at Mercata sold me my frist big screen TV in 1999, at a heavily subsidized price. Mercata never caught on though, partly because electronic suppliers forced them to take inventory, which ate up a lot of cash, and partly because it was still hard to self assemble on the web in 1999 & 2000. Today? We have social networks up the wazoo, IM and Twitter. Self assembly is so much easier. You can create a virtual group in minutes and Search, whether it's Google or Twitter, is so good now, that outsiders can find and join your group almost as quickly as your friends. I'm not exactly sure what Alex's plan is, but it feels like Crowdsprout has a real shot.
Sign up for their beta and let's try it together.