a letter from the outgoing Groupon CEO to his peeps


People of Groupon,

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I’m getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance. The board is aligned behind the strategy we’ve shared over the last few months, and I’ve never seen you working together more effectively as a global company – it’s time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.

For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be – I love Groupon, and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created. I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I’ll now take some time to decompress (FYI I’m looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion), and then maybe I’ll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.

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. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness – don’t waste the opportunity!

I will miss you terribly.




wow was that a weird day

the goal for each day of this week was to do nothing.

fucked that plan up when karisa told me i should get my fat ass hiking 5 times a week.

so other than hike the plan was to do nothing. to sit. not to stew. but to just sit.

to, who knows, read a book OMG or watch breaking bad or the wire or the gazillion other tv shows that people

who are normal seem to have plenty of time for

when theyre not reading all the harry potters and hunger games and books and books and books.

id like to read a damn book too, i thought to myself every time i buy or get a book.

today i had a movie screening to attend to at 6.

dont be impressed, theyre free and in LA theyre everywhere.

cant talk about the film, but it turned out to be great.

before that i went hiking for a quick hour.

and before that, in fact first thing this morning, fishbowl LA contacted me

to tell me that they had heard about my untimely demise at the public radio station

and would i be interested in talking about it to them, which turned into how about writing us to verify it.

and i did, and it got posted and then all the people who didnt already know found out and i was sad and happy all over again,

but mostly happy because many people offered me drinks

including someone who i drank with before i accepted this job way back when.

all in all the day was as weird

as north korean children masterfully playing guitars bigger than they are.

tomorrow the plan is to do nothing, not even hike,

and then drink heavily at night.

take that, adorable guitar heros.

KM asks: let’s say you’re having a rough day, what tunes turn that frown upside down?

park ranger

dear katherine,

im so sorry you’re feeling gloomy.

i am very worried about gloomy feelings because i get nervous that they can snowball into gloomy days, gloomy weeks, and gloomy months.

so i try to nip even the slightest negative feelings in the bud.

perhaps being a Cubs fan has helped me cope.

since they’re terrible.

and probably won’t win it all until 2014.

weirdly i don’t find myself down too often, and “rough days” in journalism are just called “days”.

but when things are extraordinarily difficult i usually go somewhere that has funny pictures or sweet things happening like Reddit and click real fast to see if theres anything inspiring or interesting.

and look, today i spy a little note from a Yosemite Junior Ranger named Evie who sent something nice to the Park Rangers there.


but you’re right, music does make the heart grow fonder though, so when i find the urge to turn on some music and take a little walk here are some songs and videos that would soothe this savage beast:

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2013 oscar picks


best picture
who will win: Argo
who i wanna win: Django

Argo was a good movie where we learned that a superhero named Tony is one of the unsung legends in U.S. history. but Django was funny, raw, weird, brutal, and masterful in telling a story about slavery that no one has either had the guts or insanity to attempt. rarely is absurd creativity and courage rewarded except in the hearts of beautiful women around the world, and award shows. sadly the kudos usually happens far too late in an artist’s career. hopefully QT will get his in an upset tonight.

best actor
who will win: Daniel Day-Lewis
who i wanna win: Joaquin

DDL’s Honest Abe was subdued and chill. Not really what many were expecting. He was more zen than zombie killer and the fact that he kept our attention through the super long film is an achievement, but Mr. Phoenix had audiences enthralled in a movie that made zero sense and had an even worse ending. He took lemons and made lemon meringue pie.

best actress
who will win: Jennifer Lawrence
who i wanna win: Quvenzhané

Emma Stone is my girlfriend but Jennifer Lawrence can come over to borrow a cup of sugar any day. she was way better in SLP than Hunger Games, but she had a lot more to work with. still, you can’t give her an oscar for that. give it to the 9 year old with the unpronounceable name for the movie no one saw.

best supporting actor
who will win: Robert De Niro
who i wanna win: Christoph Waltz

the only reason Alan Arkin is on this list is because he had two of the best lines of the entire year. other than that the rest of the noms all deserve to win. in the first two scenes alone in Django is why i think Waltz should get his second oscar. but people feel bad that De Niro hasn’t won an oscar in 33 years, and only 2 total. but they don’t feel so bad that they wont give it to tommy lee jones… or waltz.

best supporting actress
who will win: anne hathaway
who i wanna win: anne hathaway

i still feel bad her husband was cheating on her with another man in brokeback mountain.

best director
who will win: steven spielberg
who i wanna win: ang lee

people love steven and they should. he makes way more good movies than bad ones and lincoln was def a really good movie. but ang lee had a way harder job to do and he pulled it off. THERE WAS A TIGER ON A BOAT WITH A DUDE. AND THE TIGER WAS HUNGRY! plus it was a beloved book that no one ever thought could be made into a movie. Lincoln is basically what youd expect from a biopic but surprise surprise it didnt suck. you shouldnt get an oscar simply because it didnt suck. tarantino and affleck should be on this list but life isnt fair. and because of that the conservative pick will win.

best animated film
who will win: Brave
who i wanna win: Wreck-It Ralph

some movies are just way too good to win awards. Wreck-It Ralph should have been the 10th nominated film for best picture. it’s perfect. even its details are perfect. plus it’s exactly the direction Disney should be making for its kids films: smart, funny, empowering, lovable, unpredictable, and original. but Brave will win for the same reason Spielberg will beat Ang

best animated short film
who will win: Paperman
who i wanna win: The Longest Daycare

Paperman screened right before Wreck-It Ralph in theaters and busblog readers overwhelmingly loved it, and they’re the real tastemakers out there. When I posted The Longest Daycare no one even cared. Sure it’s just a mini simpson’s segment that has been allowed to breathe, but it’s more than just a sappy little trick.