It’s easy for bloggers to take shots at people who are much more successful than the blogger ever will be whenever the subject of their wrath makes mistakes that bite them later. This is one of those cases.
Andrew Mason should have sold Groupon to Google when they offered $6 billion for the daily deals community. Today, they relieved him of his responsibilities as CEO of the company that he’s been building for nearly five years. He’s taking it as well as one would expect from a clever man who just got ousted from his own company:
After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.
Why should he have sold? Because he’s brilliant. Because he’s a builder, not a corporate guy. Because his best skill is to take an idea and make it worth something for others who have the skills to take it to the next level.
This isn’t the last we’ve heard from Andrew Mason. People like him are not in it for the money. They’re in it for the challenge. With this particular challenge, he failed. He learned. His contribution to the world should be to take innovative concepts to a strong level before turning them over to corporate America. Then, it’s rinse and repeat. He has what it takes to be the founder of a half-dozen companies with potential. His passion should be in getting it from the ground up and passing it over.
Next time when he builds something great and Google or someone else comes knocking, he’ll know that he should always answer that door before moving on to the next project. A man like that should never linger.