Groupon Picks Up Some Ruby Developers From Chicago

Despite its ambitious plans to grow its pool of talent in Silicon Valley, Groupon has acquired Obtiva, a Chicago-based software development firm that’s focused on Ruby on Rails.

Groupon said in a blog post today that it has been working with Obtiva since 2009, and that many of its development teams include employees from Obtiva. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition follows aggressive expansion plans in the San Francisco area, with the specific purpose of adding more tech talent.

Groupon kicked off its West Coast expansion late last year by opening a 12,000-square-foot office in Palo Alto, where it hoped to build a tech team that could work directly with its Chicago-based employees.

It lists roughly 30 job openings for the Silicon Valley office on its Web site.

At D9 in June, Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason lamented that his “biggest mistake was waiting to open an office in Silicon Valley,” adding that Chicago is a great town, “but it doesn’t have the depth of talent that you guys have.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work