“Hey, why don’t you drop out of school and I’ll give you a million bucks to come and start this thing.” That’s what a friend asked Groupon founder, Andrew Mason, in 2006. And so, The Point was born—a website that allowed people to say, I’ll do something but only if a critical mass of other people do it with me. Two years later, having pivoted the company and renamed it Groupon, they were earning hundreds of millions of dollars.
It all began when Mason had a bad experience with a cable company. He was mad that he couldn't just get ala carte cable channels and thought wouldn’t it be great if there was a website where he could get together with enough other people to create a financial incentive for the company to listen to them. From there, the idea morphed into a site designed to make the online fundraising experience more effective.
The site was called The Point.. The idea was to make people feel reassured that if they donated money, their contribution would make a real difference.
The Point gave fundraisers the change to set a tipping point, a certain amount of money or signatures needed at which point the plan would actually become reality. It was an idea that had something to it, but unfortunately, The Point lacked focus, and was quickly headed toward failure.
However, doomed as The Point might be, one idea was working. Group deals. The most effective campaigns on the platform were those that gave people group buying power.
Mason, and his team of seven, egged on by desperate investors, began calling hundreds of businesses every day to gather deals. He called this, "Get Your Groupon.com. For every deal, they would set a tipping point, a certain number of people agreeing to buy, at which time the deal would go through.
Their plan worked.
In less than a year, the company was valued at around $1 billion, with more than 350 employees. Today, Groupon has an annual revenue of over $1.4 billion, with over 25.8 million engaged customers.
It’s one of the most remarkable business stories ever. A source of true inspiration for every aspiring entrepreneur.
“Hey, why don’t you drop out of school and I’ll give you a million bucks to come and...