Groupon CEO's parting words

In a letter to the employees of Groupon, Andrew Mason the co-founder and CEO [who was just booted out by the board this week] left these words:

“If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers.”

You may ask yourself what he used for decision making if not data or his gut.

My take is that he knew Instinctively what the right thing to do was, based on what he knew his customers were demanding (personalization perhaps?). But he allowed the board to demand more empirical evidence before making the investments. Classical analysis paralysis, Then holding the team (or in this case the CEO) accountable for not meeting goals.

I applaud Andrew for standing up, even on his exit, for what he believed.

He was awarded a whopping $378.36 in severance. That is adding insult to injury.

But not to worry. The quirky Mason won’t be leaving as a pauper, though. Mason holds nearly 47 million shares of Groupon, worth about $213 million at Thursday’s closing price.

What would your parting comment be? Are you listening to your intuition about the customer?

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