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May 28, 2010


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No thanx.

But if you are unemployed with no prospects for a job, it is better than nothing.

The attractiveness of this idea will obviously depend upon your current situation. Of course it won't seem attractive for someone making a six figure income with an interesting job in a reasonably steady career path. It would be more work, more hassle, more risk, and less pay for that person.

On the other hand, for someone frying burgers over a hot stove all day and hearing a beeper go off every 30 seconds and dealing with irate customers and making $15,000 a year for all that, it would sure seem like a good idea. It would probably be more interesting work, less hassle, little risk, and much higher pay.

Opportunity cost is a huge factor in any decision.

Not today, but I would have considered it when I was younger and a starving college student.

Plus there are side benefits, possible TV guest appearances, a book about the experiment, etc... He could end up making a lot more than the initial $100,000.

Add another zero to the prize and I'm yours.

That was my thought. A sixth zero with the extra comma there, and I've got some more interest.

That depends. If I can still surf the net and trade my stocks, then yeah, I wouldn't mind doing this. :D

But obviously, this sort of thing really depends on each person's individual circumstances. Me being a bachelor right now, this doesn't seem like a bad deal.

Like Nancy Reagan says ... just say NO!

I didn't click the link to read the story, but if doing all of this is for only a 'chance' to win then it's definitely not worth it.

I agree about the "chance" aspect if there, and wouldn't have any interest myself. But people regularly make somewhat similar sacrifices for that sort of money. I know a couple of guys who have taken themselves away from family & what I'd consider a comfortable lifestyle to live in a trailer for a couple of years and work on oil sands in Alberta, for instance, for an annual salary slightly above that. I know some who travel constantly. Sure, you can't exactly put "couponing" on your resume, but for a young guy with limited responsibilities it could be a fun adventure/story to tell your friends and the payoff ain't bad.

i am still young with no real commitments so i would definitely do this. my entry level job paying a quarter of this would not be a reason to not try this. plus, like mentioned earlier, this person can make significantly more after the year is up if he is markets himself the right way.

Preferred Financial Services

Let me change my stance. If it's only a "chance" to win, then I definitely no. However, if it's guaranteed, then maybe.

There is no amount of money that would induce me to waste one year of precious life in this manner, either now at age 75 or even when I was much younger.

No way, maybe for a million dollars! But Money Reasons does a good point. If you can pull this off, you'd be an instant celebrity, and probably along with being a groupon representative...kinda like jared of subway.

I would not do that now.

If I was broke and unemployed or something then I might consider it.

The article says that if he can make it a year then he'll earn $100k. So he just has to finish the year to get the money. Its only a contest in the sense that he has to finish to win.

Name change and a tattoo for me too.

Leaving aside the damage it will do to his/her future (current) career and life time earning,

leaving aside how does he/she pay for clothes, toiletries and other non coupon covered costs (does he have to pan handle, work at a fast food or car wash,

leaving aside that this is really not a boat load of money (the
Feds will take 25% min add State taxes, netting around 72k--btw is health insurance included?)

What's he/she going to with the spare time? Limited contact with friends,(family?)

And if he/she cheats apparently he gets nothing?
What a waste of time and life.

I wouldn't. But if the girlfriend is a pain and he doesn't like his job, why not? I've known a lot of people waste years of their life for a lot less...

I don't really get the "limited contact" with people he knows rule. As long as they don't give him things, I can't imagine why Groupons would care.

I wouldn't be able to do this if my husband couldn't live with me. If he could, I'd try it if the hotel was close to hubby's job, I had internet access, and the hotel had DVR and a DVD player. So I guess the answer would be nope for me under the conditions they have currently.

I'd still change my name and get a tattoo though, lol.

I might have wanted to try this when I was younger. Definitely not now, and not for a whole year. I doubt I would even watch or follow this guy, actually.

However, it seems like a pretty good deal for Groupon, since they are getting a lot of press coverage for this wacky idea. Really, how much advertising could they buy for $100,000.00? I wouldn't think much.

Interesting question Christy; I think FMF's a marketer so maybe he can let us know what he thinks of it as a marketing move.

(FMF if you need someone to live for a year on ice cream, I'm your girl!)

guinness416 --

It's like "the best job in the world" promotion run last year -- if it gets a TON of free publicity for not much (relatively) money, then it's a good deal. IMO this one is an "ok" attempt at that, though you never know how these things will go. Some ideas that seem worthless take off and others that appear to be great end up as losers.

And thanks for that suggestion of living on ice cream for a year. Maybe we'll take you up on it. ;-)

What does he do in his free time if he leaves his job? Could he setup a webcam to see his family, along with the occasional in-person visits? Start a blog or online business?

Part of this does seem intriguing, but since it's not a guaranteed $100k, I don't think I'd take up the offer. I'd really need to know the stipulations first.

When my son (now co-founder of Gowalla, twitter name @sco) was a college student in 1999, he entered a contest sponsored by Levi's. Contestants had to describe what they'd most like to do online (remember, this was 1999!), and he said he'd like find an online bride. :)
Four college students were chosen as winners. The prize was an experiment: The students were given $10,000, with the condition that they essentially bought nothing for an entire semester, unless they purchased online. Webcams were set up in their dorm rooms to document their lives during their time of spending 10 grand. Scott finished spending his big bucks over at Kansas University by purchasing airline tickets on Priceline for a group of his guy friends to visit another buddy in Washington, DC. All in all, a great experience for a poor college kid, and WAY ahead of its time---at the time!

YES totally!!!!

err...not :)

I wouldn't do this in my current state, but like others have said, if I was 17 or 18 and making minimum wage, I would consider it. The limited communication with family would be the most difficult thing to endure.

Not a chance. And speaking of chance, if its just a chance, that's a factor for anyone to consider.

Time can be better spent doing many other things, like improving one's education, entrepeneurship, working on your career...even spending time with family. That's my view, though clearly some would go for this contest.

At a different (younger) time in my life, this would have been a fun adventure; so yes, I would have considered it, and probably done it. I "wasted" a year of my life living in another country and don't regret that a bit, although I didn't see my family and friends at all during that year, and it wasn't in line with my longer-term career. But I had fun, learned a lot, and grew as a person. This wouldn't be quite the same cultural experience, but there's still plenty of opportunity to learn and have fun...and come out of it $100k wealthier.

At my current state in life -- with a family, career, etc. -- it would obviously be out of the question.

Maybe if they added another zero at the end as someone mentioned above, probably even a couple of zeroes. As is, why would I give up a 100K-something salary for 100K? Not to mention, that my employer wouldn't keep my job for me, so why would I lose my job for this?

I think leaving one job is a problem for anybody, not just those of us with 6 digit salaries. You don't just lose the salary for a year, you lose benefits and you don't know how long it would take you to find a new job after this. The amount of money has to be such that you no longer need to work.

Now for someone unemployed or working for a minimum wage or for someone very young, this may be OK.

Of course I would do it.

This guy is going to spend one year of his life living better than most of us regular middle class folk do.

Does anyone really think that this guy is "giving up a year of his life?" He's got corporate sponsorship, so there is no way he is going to fail. Groupons needs him to make it to the end and they need to do it in a way that makes living on coupons look cool.

What you will see this guy whipping out coupons for box seats at the opera, killer amusement park rides and dinners at fancy restaurants. What you won't see is this guy stockpiling Chef Boy-R-Dee samples in his hotel room and living off them. Simply because the first one makes coupons look cool and fun and the second one makes coupons look like they suck. And if his life sucks, the 100K is wasted because Groupons won't get it back from future customers.

And on top of all that, I'd bet that this guy is cashing in by blogging and then writing a book about his experience. That's what I'd be doing. He won't even have to waste time marketing or building a brand, because Groupons will be doing it for him.

Between the one year of free living, the 100K and the future book deal there is no reason why this guy will ever need to hold a day job again after this.

Not a bad gig IMHO.

@vga: "What you will see this guy whipping out coupons for box seats at the opera, killer amusement park rides and dinners at fancy restaurants."

How do you whip out coupons for box seats at the opera or dinners at fancy restaurants? I've seen coupons for dinners (though not in fancy restaurants), but not for opera... not for the Met or any other major theater.

Good point about future book deal or a movie.

"How do you whip out coupons for box seats at the opera or dinners at fancy restaurants? I've seen coupons for dinners (though not in fancy restaurants), but not for opera... not for the Met or any other major theater."

Because Groupons is providing the coupons. Which means they do the leg work to find the coupons that give them the best advertising. This guy just has to use the coupons they give them, he doesn't actually have to find them. That's the hardest part sometimes.

Good God! I'd do this a thousand times over. Any poor person would. Free room? Free board? PLUS 100K? My God. Count me in!!!! It's not like I have a thing to lose.

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