Andrew Mason was let go from Groupon on Thursday. Here are some things I’ve learned from following Groupon and their former CEO.
- There is a lot of luck involved in being successful. Consider that Groupon started off as failed blog. The company was a byproduct of user activity.
- Don’t be a CEO unless you really want to be one. It just never seemed like Mason wanted to be the boss. Even his departing email reeked of a young simpleton trapped inside a CEO’s suit. In hindsight, perhaps he should have looked for a different role in the company.
- Sometimes your first offer is your best offer. The smart thing for Groupon, from a product standpoint, would have been taking the Google offer.
- In today’s world, profits matter. If Facebook’s stock price and purchase of Atlas doesn’t prove that, then Mason’s tenure certainly does.
- When your product becomes a fad, pursue growth and pursue it quickly. Three years ago daily deals exploded onto the scene. The growth projections were astronomical. Groupon built a billion dollar company by racing into more markets faster than anyone else. In an industry filled with graves, Groupon’s continued existence is further proof that scale matters.
- To points 1, 2 &3, “stupid is as stupid does.” Groupon was more of an accident than a business plan. As such the former CEO and his brain trust have made a number of poor decisions in its brief history which may have doomed the company for the long haul.
- DailyDeals is dead. If this was the first shoe to drop I would say it was just the man. But with LivingSocial laying off staff, one site after another shutting down, pathetic sales numbers being posted by AmazonLocal, Google Offers and DealChicken (thank you Gannett for the punchline) this is clearly an industry in decline.