Lycos used to be a big deal.

Lycos was one of the first ad-supported search engines. It completed one of the fastest IPOs in history. It was one of the first profitable Internet companies. And it barely exists today.

Look at the home page, and you see a flashback to the old Web.

Lycos developed a model, then other companies came into the space. They did it better. They saw opportunities. They innovated.

Which brings us to Groupon, which has been hemorrhaging for months.

Groupon’s founders never understood that the $6 billion offer from Google was never about Groupon’s business value. It was about buying an infrastructure that Google could build out.

Being the first on your block to do something doesn’t make you special. Or gifted. Or the best. It just makes you first.

What do you think: Is Groupon the next Lycos?

Photo by blathlean (Flickr).