The Truth About The World’s Most Controversial Company

Posted Listopad 1st, 2011 by Billabongboardshortscloths

It’s August 2011, and Andrew Mason is agitated.

He’s at his desk in the middle of Groupon’s wide open, call center-style office in Chicago. His headphones are on. His brow is furrowed.who was responsible for tracking down Charles syringe needle .

His company had been the darling of the business press for the past two years. Suddenly it’s not.

He can’t hang on to a COO. The SEC is asking questions. Industry executives are calling him a ponzi schemer.Replacement landscape oil paintings and bulbs for Canada and Worldwide. Early employees are demanding six-figure pay for 9 to 5 hours. One even filed a lawsuit. Merchant customers are screaming. And Mason and his board, having helped themselves to $900 million of cash that could have gone to the company, are are now being blasted for incompetence and greed.

What a turnabout from a few months earlier, when Groupon was the talk of Wall Street. Then, Groupon was one of the fastest-growing companies in history, spurning $6 billion takeout offers from Google, preparing to go public at a valuation fo $25+ billion. And now everyone was talking about it running out of cash!

So what happened? How did things go so wrong?

And now that Groupon is finally going public, how will the Groupon story end?

This story, as told to us by insiders, answers some of these questions. Our sources all asked to remain anonymous, either in deference to the SEC’s “quiet period” rules for companies that plan to go public or in order to remain in compliance with severance agreements with Groupon.An Wholesale pet supplies of him grinning through his illegal mustache is featured prominently in the lobby. Groupon itself declined to comment.

In 2006, Andrew Mason was a music major, getting a graduate degree in public policy at the University of Chicago.

Mason maintained a website called Policy Tree, which featured articles like “Karl Rove should be fired or resign over the C.I.A. leak.”

On the side, he was doing contract work building databases at a company founded and funded by an entrepreneur named Eric Lefkofsky and his business partner, Brad Keywell.

Lefkofsky and Keywell were already very rich men,Buying a Best Cell Phones for sale from seller in another country. having built several businesses around call centers and the Internet. Mason was their intern, “kind of squatting in their offices,” according to one source.

In January 2007, with Lefkofsky and Keywell’s backing, Mason started working on a company – a do-gooder enterprise called The Point.The additions focus on key tag and solar panel combinations,

The Point was a social media platform designed to get groups of people together to solve problems.

The Point was not intended to be a big money-making enterprise, and by one early employee’s account, that was fine with most of the staff.

The Point launched in June. It gained modest traction in Chicago, but basically went nowhere.

Every Monday, Lefkofsky, Mason, Keywell, and a handful of early employees would meet to talk about the Point’s progress. One Monday, in the middle of 2008, Lefkofsky raised an idea he had that could revitalize the struggling start-up, based on a campaign he’d seen launched on The Point.

Ordinarily, people used The Point to organize around some sort of cause that might make the world a better place.

But in this case, a group of users decided their cause should be saving money. Their plan was to round up 20 or so people who all wanted to buy the same product and see if they could get a group discount.

“Eric said maybe this is the thing that we do,” says a source who was at the meeting. “Maybe we set up a separate page, make it dedicated to group buying.”

At first, Mason and The Point’s other early executives dismissed the idea. “It didn’t seem core to our mission,” says the person who was at the meeting.

Through the rest of the summer and early fall of 2008, Lefkofsky would not let that idea go. He’d bring up all the expensive purses his wife and all her friends were buying, and say, “It’s crazy! Couldn’t they buy 20 of them and get a discount?”

Around this time, the global economy entered free-fall as the sub-prime mortgage crisis exploded and credit markets ground to a halt. Then in September 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and famous Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia sent out a presentation called “R.I.P. Good Times.” Mason and Lefkofsky decided to lay some people off.

“There was this pressure from the market crash [and] looking at our burn rate and revenue – it was time for us to try something to scratch that itch,” says a source close to early employees.

Groupon – a side project launched out of desperation by a team of do-gooders who professed no real desire to make big bags of money – was born.

Líbí se ti tento článek? Přidej ho na Top Články

Comments are closed.