Daily deal site Groupon.com will go public tomorrow, according to numerous media reports. Despite reports that using Groupons damages the reputations of businesses, the elimination of daily deal programs by key rivals due to lack of profitability and Groupon losing $420 million last year, the company plans to price shares between $16 and $18. Here are two articles you should read about the company that invented the daily deal business.
1. Inside Groupon: The Truth About the World's Most Controversial Company (Business Insider): This lengthy profile tracks the company from its humble origins in another philanthropic startup to worldwide powerhouse. It looks at the personality of CEO Andrew Mason and casts doubts about his ability to effectively take the company to the next level. Sex, arrogance, and international intrigue, this story has it all. Unfortunately, everything in the story is anonymously sourced.
2. Do You Really Want a Job at Groupon? (Wall Street Journal): The Journal certainly doesn't think you should want a job there. Among the harshest lines: "Linking one's personal brand with that of a poorly managed start-up can also cause long-term career damage." One quoted source calls the number of company employees "excessive."
Articles like these certainly don't help the company fight critics who allege that top executives are just looking to "cash out" quickly on the trend.