Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Update: Groupon's Andrew Mason on Clones, the Gap and Mugging Larry Page!


Last week in Vancouver, BoomTown reunited with Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason, in an onstage interview at the Grow2010 conference being held in the lovely Canadian city.

While affable and unusually sweet-looking, Mason was cagey as can be about the really juicy stuff–revenue, IPO plans and acquisition interest–but he also had a lot to say about the spectacular growth of the social buying service.

That’s growth in all aspects–from cities served to sales to employees to, especially, giant piles of funding from VCs and a valuation of more than $1 billion.

But that’s not to say Groupon is going to have it easy, necessarily. While companies such as Google (GOOG), eBay (EBAY), Yahoo (YHOO) and even Facebook are obvious candidates to acquire the Chicago-based start-up, they all could just as easily decide to compete and try to replicate the service.

In fact, it is likely that at least one of them will.

In the video below, Mason tries to avoid these queries, but he gives a good update about Groupon, including its first national social discount offer at the Gap (GPS) last week.

Here’s the video, which is short:

And here is an older interview I did with Mason in March, when times were simpler:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik