Groupon launched in November 2008 to feature a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat and buy in a variety of cities around the world.
Just how disruptive is this model to conventional consumer thinking and business models? After significant growth, how has the model deviated in any way from the initial idea? Is this destined to be a market with just one large, well-established player, or are there growth opportunities? Don't miss this revealing conversation.
Matt Marshall is the editor and CEO of VentureBeat, which he founded in 2006. He covered the venture capital and startup beat for the Mercury News from 2001-2006. Marshall significantly expanded the newspapers coverage of venture capital and startups during that time, in daily articles and a weekly column called the VC Insider, and then online with his blog SiliconBeat from 2004.
Marshall was awarded Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists in 2002, and the James Madison Freedom of Information award in 2003. These awards were for a series of articles he wrote in conjunction with two successful Mercury News lawsuits, in part instigated by Marshall, against California's public pension fund (CalPERS) and the University of California. The lawsuits sought disclosure of the financial performance of venture capital and other private equity funds that CalPERS and UC had invested in, arguing that state taxpayers and retirees had a right to know these results. As a result of these laws suits, public employees now have full access to information on the performance of their retirement investments.
Marshall was a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Bonn, Germany from 1995 through 1998. In 1999 he wrote a book while in Germany, The Bank: the Birth of Europe's Central Bank and the Rebirth of European Power. He has also written for the Washington Post and several other publications. Marshal is also the executive producer of DEMO.
Marshall has a PhD in Government and an MA in German and European Studies from Georgetown University.
Andrew Mason is the founder of Groupon as well as The Point, the collective action platform from which Groupon was born.
Owen Thomas is the executive editor of VentureBeat. His career has ranged from Suck.com to the Red Herring, from Time to Valleywag, but he's consistently been interested in the transformative effects of innovation on business and culture. Also, he loves you but has an odd way of showing it.
Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason discusses the company's rapid success despite not following the Silicon Valley playbook, most notably by hiring writers to draft engaging copy. "Part of what makes it tolerable to receive an email in your inbox everyday," says Mason, "is that it's something interesting to read."