SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 07: Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 7, 2011 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The conference has been hosted annualy by the investment firm Allen & Company each July since 1983. The conference is typically attended by many of the world's most powerful media executives. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Andrew Mason must have Netflixed 8 Mile or something recently, because the comments he made Thursday, the final day of the 2012 Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference more resemble the bravado of a hustling rapper than the CEO of a public company that's also a household name.
"We've cracked the code," boasted Mason, and later in his remarks saying "at this point, when we think of the competitive landscape, we think that the biggest competitors are ourselves."
ZDNet has an analysis on this chat, but given all the hurdles Groupon has had to face lately, such bold comments are rather surprising. On the other hand, what is Mason supposed to say? "We've been screwing up a lot lately, you guys."
Also at that same San Francisco event, Mason acknowledged that his company is "toughening up" on its weaknesses and that this is a crucial time to evolve from the startup the company was to the powerhouse it needs to be. Admitedly, Groupon has been shaking up in a lot of ways lately (most recently, by suddenly launching a VIP program). Another new effort Mason discussed was Groupon Rewards, which, yes, is a rewards program tied in with people's credit cards and how often they use them on the site.
It's been a bumpy week for Groupon, but it's stock is back above the $20 it started at. As of press time, it's at $20.30. And with that, we bid you a great weekend and many mitzvahs, Castle Groupon.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.