CHICAGO (CBS) — Just a few short years ago, Chicago-based Groupon burst onto the Internet. Now, CEO Andrew Mason is talking to CBS’s 60 Minutes about his company’s success.
In his first major interview since taking Groupon public last year, Mason said he’s probably not as smart or experienced as other CEO’s, but being company founder gives him his edge.
CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman has sneak peak at the 60 Minutes interview.
If cutting coupons seems passé, maybe that’s because Groupon changed the game with its online daily deals.
“The success was intoxicating,” Mason said.
Mason talked to 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl about his multibillion dollar company, based in Chicago.
In 2009, when Groupon was still a startup, Mason told CBS 2, “This is a win-win because we provide customers and businesses with what they want. Businesses want a lot of new customers and customers want a great deal.”
They sell the great deal with creative writing, which takes creative hiring.
Groupon draws from the Chicago improv and acting scenes to fill its cubicles, including customer service.
“It’s nice to talk to someone who can maybe make you laugh or is a little bit more relaxed,” Mason said.
The vibe seems to be working; Groupon has grown and grown since it took off.
It had the biggest initial public stock offering of any Internet company since Google, all with the non-traditional Mason at the helm.
“If there’s any difference between me and a traditional CEO, it’s that I’ve been unwilling to change myself or to shape my personality around what’s expected,” Mason said.
Asked how long it would be before Wrigley Field is Groupon Field, Mason said, “If we wanted to alienate everyone in Chicago, we would be pursuing that, but … we like people to like us.”
Even though Forbes gave Groupon the title of fastest growing company ever, with all its expansion in the U.S. and overseas, it has yet to turn a profit.
And Groupon’s business model has its critics. Mason gets into all of it in his rare interview with Lesley Stahl on the next 60 Minutes on Sunday.