It is not very Christian to revel in another’s misery, but I’m not very Christian. So the story on the front page of this morning’s Tribune’s business section setting out the decline of Groupon wamed this cold heart. Groupon’s stock is down 80 percent since its IPO, and now sells for a mere $4.14 a share. It was not long ago that its young wunderkind founder Andrew Mason turned down something like $ 6 billion for his internet inspired company in order to make more with an IPO.
I don’t know about you but I always say: if someone offers you a billion dollars for anything other than an essential body part, take it. Mr. Mason’s relative fall from grace is a victory of life’s good friend and constant companion hubris. Nothing can stop you except you. It is a lesson for all of us.
My pleasure was doubled because the company was Groupon. Groupon as far as I can tell has a mission statement : get greedy consumers to buy and consume products and services they don’t need thereby contibuting to obesity, landfills and credit problems. Perhaps I should appreciate the value of getting ten dollars off getting your toenails decorated. Or discounted sky-diving lessons. But I don’t. How an enterprise so trivial could be worth so much money is either a tribute to entrepeneurship or evidence that the end is near. I’m going with the later.