“We’re not a perfect company” – Groupon CEO Andrew Mason #dld12
23. January 2012 § Leave a comment
Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, was quite frank during his conversation with journalist David Kirkpatrick at the DLD Conference in Munich. “We’re not a perfect company”, he replied when asked about the negative press the company received ahead of its IPO in late 2011. “We’re constantly reiterating.” However, he added, “a lot of the criticism was unfounded”. Before, people were uncritical in their praise previously, and then it just turned around, he added. At the time, news pieces had appeared questioning the sustainability of Groupon’s business model and quoting merchants that were becoming unhappy with the local couponing service. “It is true that the business model is easy to replicate and the barriers to entry are low”, Mason stated. “But barriers to success is high.” He credited the German Samwer brothers, early investors in Groupon, of having had a big role in making Groupon operate successfully. “I read articles about them having a reputation for cloning, but the idea is easy part, execution is the hard part. They are the best operators around, they are over-human” In terms of business strategy, Mason said that real time commerce was the next step. Regarding relations with merchants, Mason said that they will be armed better with data and advice. “It’s something we’ve learned and gotten better over time.” If Groupon provides ROI data, the satisfaction level is higher “and we make merchants happier”.