Groupon's Biggest Deal Ever: The Inside Story of How One Insane Gamble, Tons of Unbelievable Hype, and Millions of Wild Deals Made Billions for One Ballsy Joker

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St. Martin's Press, Jun 5, 2012 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
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The inside story of the meteoric rise of Groupon from startup to $30 billion online giant and the audacious genius behind it, founder Andrew Mason

In late 2010, Groupon made an incredible gamble. Rather than take Google's $6 billion buyout offer, founder Andrew Mason turned the search giant down and decided to go it alone. The experts thought he was insane. Groupon was little more than two years old and staffed from top to bottom with twenty-somethings. The wild ride couldn't last, but Mason thought otherwise, and with knowledge of a possible IPO he liked his odds.

A discount service that offers a deal a day at local merchants in countless cities in more than forty-three countries, Groupon is the fastest-growing company in Internet history and is as committed to innovating a new model for commerce as it is to creating an office culture and editorial voice based on radical transparency and absurd humor.

Groupon's Biggest Deal Ever is the exclusive and unparalleled account of the incredible rise of discount giant Groupon and the compelling story of its offbeat founder Andrew Mason as he created a juggernaut of online commerce and ignited a consumer revolution.


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Q. How did you like the book? A. It was okay. Q. Are you a Groupon user? A. No, but I may look into it. Q. So Frank explains the basic concept behind Groupon? A. Yes. Look on page 279. It says this: Groupon wants to sell customers the thing they didn't know they wanted but are desperate to buy when they see it. Frank takes the process from Mason's original idea, helping non-profits, to the initial public offering, when all the principals made lots of money. Q. Does he give a fair picture? A. He tries his best. He does include some negative occurrences, but in the acknowledgments at the end of the book, we find that Julie Mossler, a Groupon executive, was essential to the book. Mason was skeptical about the book, but consented to interviews. So did the other Groupon executives. Q. So? A. Frank may have been influenced by the bias that sometimes sets in when a journalist imagines he doesn't want to burn any of the interviewees. He may need them for later material. Much of the book, therefore, reads like promotional literature for Groupon. Frank may not even be aware of this, though he seems pretty insightful, sometimes. Q. So you're saying the book is biased in favor of Groupon? A. It seemed like it to me, but I'm biased, too. Q. How are you biased? A. Against furthering consumerism, which Groupon does. Mason sets out as a young man to further good causes and ends up flying Gulf Streams and having exotic bachelor parties. It's like the Stockholm Syndrome. Q. What? I don't see the connection. A. Yes, the captives begin to love their captors and forget that they're not free, they're hostages. Mason and his billion buck cronies are the captives and consumerism has them all locked up. They don't even know it. For that matter, I sense that Mr. Frank Sennett is also a victim of seeing too many trees but not the forest. Read the book and see what you think. 


October 21 2010
November 34 2011
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About the author (2012)

FRANK SENNETT is the Editor-in-Chief of Time Out Chicago. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's School of Journalism, earned an MFA from the University of Montana, and has published seven previous books.

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