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
TheStreet Open House

Mason Is a Better Investment Than Groupon

Stocks in this article: GRPN

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Groupon (GRPN) shares were rallying in premarket trading Friday following the firing of 32 year-old CEO Andrew Mason, but personally, I wish I could invest in Mason.

Groupon isn't to be written off completely as an investment. The fact that it has fallen 83% since its initial public offering in November 2011 doesn't change the fact that this company had 41 million active customers in 2012 and has worked with more than 500,000 merchants.


As RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney told Bloomberg Television Friday morning, "That's not just thin air. There is a business here that can be picked up."

It may be possible to make a lot of money investing in that business -- especially at an 83% discount. But I'm not too keen on the idea of a committee of rent-a-suits trying to implement someone else's vision.

Once a company has been created, especially a public one, it's hard to kill. The corpse can stumble along for years while vulture investors, accountants, attorneys, insurers and other creatures of the corporate underworld --half-dead themselves -- pick at its carcass.

I wouldn't want to get into fight with those nasty creatures over Groupon's last remaining drops of blood, however.

I'd rather hang out in the land of the living with a brilliant young guy like Andrew Mason, who, from what I can tell, created his company out of little more than a sense of humor and a feeling that people are itching for an excuse to go out and have a good time with their friends.


It appears that idea wasn't enough to sustain a multi-billion dollar company. Thinking about it now, its hard to believe serious investors ever thought it was.

I don't follow Groupon closely. I've never written about the company until now, and I've never even responded to one of its offers. But I've admired Mason, from the little bit I've read and seen about him. The guy appears to have more humanity in his left pinkie than you'd find in the average roomful of Harvard MBAs. People like him may not run corporate America, but its people like him who created it, people with active imaginations who weren't interested in playing it safe.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, 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
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,399.67 +19.26 0.12%
S&P 500 1,904.01 +17.25 0.91%
NASDAQ 4,316.0740 +57.6360 1.35%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs