Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Groupon postscript

Felix Salmon directs us to Kevin Kelleher's memorable profile of Groupon's co-founder and chairman.

FORTUNE -- "Lets start having fun... lets get funky... let's announce everything... let's be WILDLY positive in our forecasts... lets take this thing to the extreme... if we get wacked [sic] on the ride down-who gives a shit... THE TIME TO GET RADICAL IS NOW... WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE..."

This is a quote from the dot-com era. It's pretty much what you'd expect a novice executive to say back then, when it was all about money and not at all about creating something good. It was written in an email by the co-founder of a company called, which labeled itself a B2B provider -- back when people greeted that phrase with a straight face.

In early 2000, Starbelly sold itself to another company called Ha-Lo Industries for $240 million, much of which went to the author of those words, a man named Eric Lefkofsky. Not long after that transaction, Ha-Lo declared bankruptcy. Shareholders and others blamed the Starbelly deal, and a series of lawsuits ensued.

After that, it gets even more interesting.

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