What you missed this week on GigaOM Pro

It’s been a rough quarter for some of the former darlings of the startup world: perhaps we should call it IPO-itis. Just a year ago, Groupon, Zipcar and Zynga were slated to go public with great fanfare and wildly optimistic market speculations. This week on Pro, our analysts and curators analyze bleak earnings calls and look at challenges in the cloud market. Here’s a look at some of the newest and most interesting research content published on GigaOM Pro.

Note: GigaOM Pro is a subscription-based research service offering in-depth, timely analysis of developing trends and technologies. Visit pro.gigaom.com to learn more about it.

Mobile: Colin Gibbs

“Mobile is Groupon’s future, and the future is now
With our Mobilize conference on the horizon, Pro mobile curator Colin Gibbs has had a busy week. His latest update checks in on the latest bad news about Groupon. While plummeting shares and sluggish subscriber growth continue to send red flags to investors and analysts, the company could still turn itself around by capitalizing on its mobile presence. With a few smart updates to its existing products, and a swift, strategic approach to its planned mobile wallet, Groupon could still redeem itself.

“Consumer privacy in the mobile advertising era: challenges and best practices”
Global smartphone adoption and use continues to grow, giving users an unprecedented amount of computing and communication power in one convenient gadget. But as consumers increasingly embrace services that streamline everyday transactions and activities, the proliferation of apps that track user location, buying habits and other behaviors is also raising concerns about privacy. In this briefing, Gibbs analyzes how current and pending regulatory measures could affect every link in the mobile-marketing chain and looks at existing standards in two heavily-regulated sectors: health and banking.

Cleantech: Adam Lesser

“Zipcar’s future”
Zipcar suffered a brutal quarter: the company lost nearly 35% of its market value after its most recent earnings call last week. This update from Pro clean tech curator Adam Lesser analyzes the key takeaways from the call. The departure of Zipcar’s CMO, major marketing misfires and a poorly timed European campaign are just a few recent woes. Where can Zipcar go next in an increasingly crowded collaborative consumption market?

Social: David Card

“A social gaming manifesto”
Ever since its IPO in December, Zynga has been stuck in a downward spiral: plunging stock prices, dissension within its C-level (and company-wide) ranks, a disappointing mobile strategy and a half-baked effort to develop its own platform. In this note, Pro curator David Card looks at the social gaming sector at large and outlines what Zynga needs to do to regain market share.

Cloud: David Strom

“Understanding and managing the cost of the cloud”
The cloud is hailed as a cheaper, faster solution to physical data centers. But the Infrastructure as a Service market lacks any real transparency around exact cost of implementing its services. In his research note, Pro analyst David Strom breaks down the current pricing options and structures from a variety of IaaS vendors and highlights major caveats in existing cloud-pricing models. He also points to a potential solution: a new generation of cloud providers that monitor and manage your cloud use, and could point the way towards a clearer industry pricing standard.