- Groupon must focus on "quality and control" and "not taking stupid risks."
- The company will "talk a lot about" complying with accounting rules.
- Groupon doesn't "have any margin for error."
It seems that playtime is over, and it's time to go to work. This, however, is not good for Groupon investors.
But isn't acting like a real business going to strengthen Groupon?
Mason's new focus on compliance instead of crazy ideas will lead Groupon away from the innovation that gives Groupon a chance. As I wrote earlier, the thing Groupon's competitors lack is Mason's Willy Wonka-style of business.
As CEO, his inane antics dictate the company culture and fuel its innovation. Groupon, with its myriad copycats, isn't going to win just by its daily deals, but with its foray into new businesses like mobile and instantly redeemable deals, physical goods, getaways, and "Grouspawn," a scholarship program for kids whose parents used a Groupon on their first date.
That's how Groupon competes?
While huge competitors like Amazon.com
Groupon also must act quickly, as its first-mover advantage begins to erode. AmazonLocal now lets customers prefer certain deals to others. Google Offers recently partnered with Starbucks
So Groupon shouldn't worry about correct accounting?
Of course Groupon should honestly report numbers, and make the proper allowances for customer returns. By not doing so, it deceives both investors and itself. But Mason should appoint the proper leadership for the compliance roles and continue to lead with his own expertise of creativity.
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