I can’t say enough bad things about Groupon. For the longest time, I have had to deal with the superficial, pretentious, over the top dealings by offering self defeating and intrinsic coupons. Face the music. Groupon is an evil empire akin to…well, the Empire. I have had meetings with people out of San Francisco for the last week, and the west coast is on board with Groupon’s misbehavior and overbearing attitude. LivingSocial, in comparison, continues to over deals that cater to the population…not ones that just cater to Andrew Mason’s pocket book. But yes, therein lies the conundrum of hating Mason and Groupon. While Mason is the face for the monster, their is an heir apparent operating as the man in the back. I caught this article on NYTimes.com via VentureBeat, which details the extraordinary lameness that is Eric Lefkofsky, Groupon’s largest shareholder and chairman. Per the article:
Lefkofsky’s style tends toward “… rapid revenue growth accompanied by big losses, a penchant to sell stock early on, and lawsuits filed by investors, lenders or customers who feel they have been wronged.” The piece mentions Lefkofsky’s flub talking about how Groupon would be “wildly profitable” on Bloomberg TV during the quiet period after the company had just filed its IPO prospectus — basically concluding that despite decades of experience, he’s still oddly prone to rookie moves like this. The piece’s author, Kevin Kelleher, says investors in Groupon should be concerned that Lefkofsky and his family have already cashed out $382 million from Groupon before the IPO filing. (The other founders, Brad Keywell and his family cashed out $156 million, Andrew Mason, $10 million).
When money is on the line, humanity shows its true colors. Groupon is no different, not offering anything tangible to better the lives or the state of its customer base. Its bottom line remains, and always has revolved around the well being of the men at top. Check out the article though, and find out more on Lefkosky, its interesting stuff.