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July 2, 2013 3:48 pm
The founder of Groupon, who wrote a brutally honest resignation letter after being sacked from the online discounter in February, has published a soft-rock album with a message of business motivation.
“This album pulls some of the most important learnings from my years at the helm of one of the fastest growing businesses in history, and packages them as music,” Andrew Mason, 32, wrote in a blog post.
Entitled Hardly Workin’, the record – published on Spotify and iTunes – contains seven songs with references to quarterly reporting, HR issues, and disruptive tech start-ups.
However, some suggested that Mr Mason’s effort should not be taken at face value.
“Andrew Mason is famous for being a prankster,” wrote one iTunes user. “And I’m pretty sure no self-respecting man would put out this kind of music seriously.”
In one song, Mr Mason sings, “I was climbing Machu Picchu/As I beheld the splendid view/An idea came for 100 million/Of shareholder value”.
“Executives, mid-level management and front-line employees are all sure to find valuable takeaways,” Mr Mason wrote of the album. “I’ve probably listened to the album over a dozen times now, and with each spin I feel like I learn something.”
Mr Mason said that leaving copies of the album on employees’ desks would probably not be sufficient to trigger the music’s full impact. Instead, he suggested that the songs could be used to motivate groups in the office.
“Try ending your next all-hands meeting with It’s Up to Us, for example,” he wrote referring to a song that includes the line, “We’ve got the customer/Critical mass/The market positioning.”
Mr Mason’s album follows an unusual parting letter from Groupon, which mocked the idea that he had resigned from the company.
“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,” the letter said.
Groupon shares fell about 80 per cent during Mr Mason’s tenure as chief executive, with the company reporting a $67.4m loss in 2012.
That has dented the personal fortune of Mr Mason, who was mostly paid in shares rather than cash. However, in Stretch, his rumination on quarterly reporting, he nonetheless encouraged listeners to follow his path to riches: “Don’t you want a mansion/And a yacht like mine?”
Mr Mason holds a music degree from Northwestern University, and last month joked on Twitter that the term “Fired CEO” had replaced his previous moniker, “Music Major”. He is reported to be working on a San Francisco-based start-up.
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