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Andrew Mason asking for advice on "selling a website idea" (2006) (sitepoint.com)
134 points by brandnewlow 1517 days ago | hide | past | web | 24 comments | favorite



Hi, HNers. I've been sitting on this link for about 4 years now. This post on Sitepoint is from shortly after Andrew Mason first pitched The Point, which later became Groupon, to investors in Chicago.

On a day when folks are discussing the end of his time at Groupon...this link shows where it first began and the hopefulness and optimism that comes with a new project!


I love you Brad. It's so good to have an actual journalist amongst our ranks.


Man, I miss reporting sometimes. Optimizing onboarding processes and answering support requests from Brazil are fun and all, but sharing new stuff with people is a real thrill.


Great find Brad! I bet a lot of startup founders have tracks like these lying around.


The Point was nothing like Groupon! It was more of a goofy political/community action site. Social deals were a pivot as The Point failed.


Both had a 'tipping point'/threshold mechanism, and IIRC some of ThePoint's early example scenarios were attempting to influence local businesses with the promise of coordinated patronage (or boycott). So distantly related, I think.

ThePoint had a certain Hippie-Dippy earnest utopian vibe, while Groupon seemed to go 180" in the other direction, with mercenary/cynical sales/PR/accounting tactics.

I've wondered if the stark contrast between the lack of uptake when ThePoint offered people the chance to "save the world!", and the exploding interest when Groupon offered "save half off!", helped rationalize the later anything-goes-to-make-a-buck ethos of Groupon.


See also:

http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=picnichouse

Several of Mason's posts at HN were also asking for advice:

http://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=picnichouse

He didn't get any responses for his queries about...

• "Writing pesky account management e-mails for your site"

• "Is it OK to copy terms of service/privacy policy from another site?"

• "Ask YC: Hiring non-technical ("business") staff?"

• "How do I take a U.S. e-commerce site to Canada & overseas?"

A lesson for HNers: don't be offended or discouraged if no one here responds to your submissions! Keep seeking elsewhere.


Sucks that he never got any feedback on some of his submissions but at least folks weren't negative (usually the case nowadays).


It would be incredible to see what his answers are to these questions after having learned them through his experience over the last few years.


Sorry don't want to be skeptic but just curious to know how are you so sure that it's Andrew Mason for sure. It could be somebody else stating he started Groupon. HN accounts are not verified in anyways.


I don't know if I am blinded by my environs or by the 7 years since this, but how did the idea of selling his idea and then building it ever sound good?


Chances are he was good at selling things that didn't exist (some people are very talented at this) + he was lucky to find the right kind of person as an investor.


>but how did the idea of selling his idea and then building it ever sound good?

This is the very soul of the parasitic "Lean" dogma today.


Well "for the time being" turned out to be until today. Worked out pretty well for his pocket book in any case though, I'd say.


Extremely well.

Off topic, the guy that took his place appears to be worse IMO. http://www.businessinsider.com/groupons-cozy-deals-with-lefk...


Excellent and enlightening share. Sadly, this seems to be the norm throughout the upper echelons of the western system of democratocapitalismywayorthehighway. Ahh, humans.

PS. Where's paradise?


Very impressive getting meetings and getting commitments of funding with just the idea of Groupon and a goal of developing it in 6 months. A guy like that was bound to succeed, and despite stepping down - or, getting fired - that is what he did, he succeeded.


Andrew: He wants to pour a lot of money into the site and hire me to front the project for the time being.

response: "for the time being"? Extremely bad idea.

haha. yes but apparently mostly no.


How do we know this is Andrew Mason's writing?

(The page contains no instances of "Andrew", "Mason", "Andy", "Drew", "Groupon", "coupon" or "the point".)



Actually, I get better results with http://lmgtfy.com/?q=picnichouse+mason


you guys can also share these links without the annoying lmgtfy:

example:

https://www.google.com/#q=mason


But then you lose scene points for not being condescending enough.


kadavy and brad in the same HN post, about Andrew Mason. Chicago Strong ;)




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