This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

First You Screw Up, Then Lie and Finally Die

So after a while I unsubscribed, and that was the last I thought about Groupon until all the bad publicity started coming in. But if I was examining Groupon from an investment standpoint, that would have soured me on the IPO from the beginning. My common sense would have told me that Groupon was in the first phase of screw-up-lie-die. And, speaking of deals, look at all the money I'd have saved by not buying into the IPO! Why, if you ask me, that saving is better than pretty much anything I've seen offered by Groupon.

Groupon is certainly not the only company where one or more phases of screw-up-lie-die are being played out. Sometimes, the template is abbreviated, with the "lie" part omitted, but the third part is almost always inevitable.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a fine example of this. Forensic accountants are all over the alleged accounting peccadilloes of this Vermont-based outfit, which has built up an almost cult-like fervor among its shareholders. Critics maintain that the "lie" part of screw-up-lie-die template is under way. That may well be, but, personally, I am still hung up on what the company does -- or, to put it another way, what it doesn't do, which is to sell a product that strikes me as being remotely useful.

Green Mountain Coffee sells "quality" coffee at prices that, I've found, are actually more costly than the terrific beans, ground to my liking, that I can buy at my favorite coffee roaster on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. True, Green Mountain's coffee is available in single-serving portions as K-Cups, manufactured by its Keurig subsidiary. But my Mr. Coffee coffeemaker, which I picked up at Walmart for about twenty bucks a few years ago, makes terrific single servings of coffee. If that ever goes on the fritz, I've got a French press up on the shelf that works fine. If that breaks, my old percolator will do nicely.

If you ask me, there's something profoundly flawed about a business model that assumes that customers don't know how to make a decent cup of coffee. Maybe a lot of people don't, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it, even if its accounting was flawless.
2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
GRPN $3.62 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs