Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 97° Clear
News >  Business

Groupon founder relishes bizarre bon mots

Wailin Wong Chicago Tribune

Few CEOs have mastered off-kilter elocution like Andrew Mason. On Groupon’s website, he even claims to be the author of a book called “Unleash the Power Within the Power Within: Self Help For Self Helpers.”

Here are some of his real-life gems.

• To Time.com on hot and not-so-hot deals, June 2009: “Our least popular deal was a live lobster delivery service for $75 – only sold about 15 of those. I think it’s because we were confused and positioned them as pets, not food. But we still feel great about that deal; a Skokie resident e-mailed to let us know that she can’t imagine life without her new lobster companions.”

• In a company news release about opening a Silicon Valley office, May 2010: “Now there is no excuse to not work for us. And Chicago is still super cool. Did you know that we have the world’s largest water-filtration plant? Great city, can’t understand why people wouldn’t want to move here, but whatever – now we’re in the Valley too.”

• To the Chicago Tribune, on his planned presentation at Allen & Co.’s annual forum in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 2010: “I plan to hold my breath underwater for 18 minutes – which is especially impressive when you consider that my presentation is only 15 minutes long.”

• On CNBC, on whether he owns 20 cats, August 2010: “No. Most CEOs will make stuff up about themselves to sound way smarter and cooler, and people are disappointed to find out otherwise. I decided to set the bar very low and make up lies about myself that make me sound lame.”

• To Silicon Valley Insider, on more rumors of Yahoo buying Groupon, November 2010: “I totally was going to comment except the way you asked for my comment suggested that maybe I shouldn’t and I didn’t want to let you down so I decided not to comment.”

• To The New York Times, on whether he would grant an interview about the acquisition rumors, November 2010: “Only if you want to talk about my other passion, building miniature dollhouses.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.