Groupon Founder and daily-deal whipping boy Andrew Mason finally got his half-priced ass handed to him today after delivering Groupon’s stock into a Botox’d coma after going public over two years ago. His own self-written eulogy seemed like it was scribed by the Groupon cat, which was rumored to be later euthanized in a severe cost-cutting measure.
“People of Groupon, after four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding—I was fired today. If you’re wondering why … you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable” Mason smirked between salty tears of a half-price Brazilian wax job.
Besides, the usual told-you-so’s, there’s something serious to ponder here: Groupon’s fundamental model is to make money easily off the sweat of mom & pop businesses. In return for access to Groupon’s marketing muscle and exposure, small businesses are expected to not only cut their prices in half or more, they are forced to split the revenue generated through Groupon with Groupon.
Yet… Big YET… Groupon supposedly loses money on these transactions, loses shareholder value, loses investor confidence, loses Wall Street confidence, loses repeat business, loses, loses, loses. This sounds more like a pyramid scheme than a serious long-term venture.
Now go back and read Mason’s departure statement. Not once does he mention the small businesses that Groupon is built upon. Perhaps it is something he can think about when he is out looking for a job.