Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

BoomTown Did Not Call Groupon's Andrew Mason a Corporate D-Bag!

Oh, to be misquoted!

Last week, a lot of folks on Twitter and elsewhere thought I had called Groupon co-founder and CEO Andrew Mason a “corporate douche bag” onstage in an interview gone badly awry.

While such a comment is not beyond me, the fact of the matter is that he called himself that.

At the DLD conference put on by Burda Media in Munich, Germany, I interviewed Mason, along with Foursquare co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley, about local online markets that they both now dominate online.

During the session, I pressed Mason about his aborted acquisition negotiations with Google, as well as future IPO plans for the Chicago-based social buying service.

When he demurred, I let it go, but then the ever-voluable Mason decided to explain himself.

“I used to watch people doing like what I just did on TV and be like, ‘What a corporate douche bag, I’m never going to be like that.’ And here I’m doing it. You made me do it!”

I didn’t, but thanks for the credit, Andrew!

After I pressed him on the Google talks, he tried the kiss-and-not-tell excuse.

“It’s very personal between the companies. You’re exploring each other and then everybody wants us to do that out in the open. We don’t have all the answers yet. We’re figuring things out. “

Thus, putting words in his mouth, I concluded:

“Sorry to put words in your mouth, but you’re basically saying ‘We’re a fucked-up group of people behind the scenes, but please invest in our IPO.'”

Mason’s answer: “Yes!”

I’m glad I cleared that up!

In any case, here’s the full video of one of the more enjoyable interviews I have done in awhile:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work