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Whoa – Living Social Closing Awesome Event Space at 918 F St, NW this Spring

by Prince Of Petworth January 31, 2014 at 9:45 am 37 Comments

918_f_st_living_social_closing
918 F Street, NW

Huge news from the Post:

“LivingSocial will stop producing live events and close its facility at 918 F St. NW this spring as executives focus the business on providing merchants with an online platform to market their products, the company said Friday.”

  • That Man A

    dosent come as a huge surprise…
    they had been reporting losses, also i think the only remaining original owner just stepped away from the business
    it was expected that change was coming
    probably going for a lower overhead cost amongst other things

  • Anonymous

    Yikes, they spent a fortune renovating that place.

  • jes

    this makes me sad, a lot of the events in there were really fun

  • Anonymous

    This company is done. The founders and venture investors cashed out via private share sales and additional rounds of new investment and now have more money than they can ever spend. Bits of the company will continue to operate and sold off to other companies (“Hi AOL!”). The whole thing will be gone in a few years’ time. O’Sheanessy will be a local DC “tech celebrity” and attend fundraisers, support the arts, and continue to speak at silly DISRUPT-type media conference but his best days are behind him.

    • Anonymous

      +1 I don’t understand how people ever forgot that, like Groupon, this was a company fundamentally based on COUPONS.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know why, but I always hated getting e-mails to sign up for “Sippin’ and Paintin'”

    • Anon

      The name may have been stupid, but I had a great time getting tipsy and making amateur artwork!

      • Pixie

        Same here! Loved my slippin and paintin class. The building is awesome too, such a great space.

  • Anonymous

    They should spend some time focusing on what the hell their business even is. Every time I look they’ve changed what they offer — from online quizzes to share with friends to groupon-like deals to a grubhub-like takeout consolidator (but no deals) to organizing events. From their emails it seems their focus is on providing laser hair removal for the maximum number of people. Focus, people, focus.

  • Anonymous

    Circling, circling, down the drain …

  • brookland_rez

    Living Social’s business model is not sustainable. The whole company will be gone soon.

  • Anon

    Just take the company out back and shoot it already.

  • Anonymous

    good. last thing I was trying to do was have LivinSocial teach me how to make brunch.

  • jim_ed

    I think its important to remember that over a year later Living Social employees are STILL commenting on the City Paper article about how miserable it is to work there.

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/43445/living-livingsocial-how-dcs-homegrown-coupon-giant-is-trying-to/

  • Many people don’t realize this was a DC based organization. If you disliked their emails, fine, filter them to your spam folder or don’t sign up. But let’s not praise what will likely be job losses for DC area residents.

    • power of flight

      The type of people they hired will just move on to other cities. Like they did in this case.

      • Anonymous

        how do you figure?

    • anony

      How is it different than when any other poorly-run DC-based business closed? Sure, it means more people might be losing jobs, but you don’t seem to be making the same comment on the post about Mum Mum…

      • I haven’t read that post. I hate seeing anyone lose their job, especially so if it’s a locally owned and operated job.

  • Bummer, but not surprising I suppose. We’ve enjoyed some events at 918 F. And their speakeasy bar downstairs has friendly staff, a few good beers on tap, and strong cocktails.

  • 17thSter

    That’s too bad. I am a huge fan of the space, the bar and the events.

  • Anonymous

    hate to say it . . . death spiral?

  • anon

    How much money did the city waste on corporate handouts to keep Living Social in DC? I recall it being a “wtf” high figure considering the obvious decline of the company. I still check Living Social regularly, but they have about 1 or two deals a year that’s of interest. As opposed to groupons which I buy regularly thanks to them having restaurants and not just 15 different air duct cleaning deals.

    • Anon

      I don’t think they ever met the employment threshold necessary to get the DC tax breaks, so it hasn’t cost the city anything.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t this how many tech startups operate? Come up with a hot idea, get a bunch of funding, hit it big, blow lots of cash having a great time as the company rides the wave up, then cash out right before everyone realizes it’s a totally unsustainable business model? It has happened so many times that I honestly think most people starting companies like Living Social have ZERO intent of it being a long-term thing – they just want to have some great fun with investor’s money, then cash out and make a quick profit before the whole thing falls apart.

    • Anonymous

      I think that those of us who lived through the tech bubble of the late 90’s-early 2000’s saw it coming from a mile away. It’s a fraudulent business model where the people in charge always end up walking away rich, while leaving a trail of laid-off employees in their wake.

    • Anonymous

      Yup. It was never a real business. And Living Social and Groupon left in their wake a trail of failed small businesses. So it even goes beyond the screwed over workers. It was basically a transfer of investment money from small business owners to these social deal sites.

    • Anonymous

      I agree that their business model is problematic. Not because it’s a bad idea to funnel people towards discounted services, but because the entry barriers to this business are so low that additional competition inevitably makes it difficult to make much of a profit. The only way to get market share is to charge less than your competition, which is difficult to sustain in the long run unless you are Amazon.

      I disagree that Living Social is or ever was a “tech” company. It takes more than running a website and marketing your services via email to be a tech company. It also takes more than letting your employees wear jeans to work and having ping pong and foosball tables in your office.

  • Beth

    All I know is that this would be an amazing place to put a DC Eataly.

    • Prance Stuard

      Unfortunately, it’s not even close to being big enough.

      • Anonymous

        unless it was… smaller.

        • Anonymous

          I believe they’ve set a threshold for how much space they would like to work with, and they haven’t found it yet in a suitable location in or around DC.

  • theheights

    Living Social is circling the drain. Who would’ve thought that a company promoting adult spelling bees would fail?

  • Jamie

    Ah Living Social…The Friendster of DC. I was always amused when people talked about this company as a good example of DC’s tech scene.

  • RL

    I went to a few events there, but found them generally to be overpriced for the experience. In the end, I stopped buying those “deals” because it was unclear what I was really getting for my money. Too bad – the spaces are great.

  • The Jimmy

    And here is a quote from our Mayor, “The tech industry is growing in importance in the District as it grows in importance worldwide, and the presence here of LivingSocial is a big part of the draw for other tech companies.”

    Let the chant begin, “4 More Years, 4 More Years!”

  • AG

    I really liked the idea of the event space, but they always seemed super over-priced, especially considering the foundation of their business was coupons. I’m not paying $50 to bake a cupcake or an hour-long pickling lesson.

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