Andrew Mason, the former CEO of online bargain site Groupon (GRPN), on Monday released his first album, Hardly Workin’, consisting of what he describes as “motivational business music targeted at people newly entering the workforce.”
“I’ve probably listened to the album over a dozen times now, and with each spin I feel like I learn something,” writes Mason about his own music in a blog post about the album, which was produced by Don Gehman, known for his work with John Cougar Mellencamp and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Mason goes on to suggest methods for employers looking to get the most out of his music.
“Try ending your next all-hands meeting with “It’s Up to Us,” for example,” he writes. “Or, having trouble communicating with a low-per/hi-po employee? A “Thinkin’ of You” note attached to a flash drive preloaded with “My Door is Always Open” might be the catalyst you need for that transformational breakthrough.”
The album has inspired a debate among reviewers unsure whether to take the compositions seriously. During his time with Groupon, Mason was known for his quirky sense of humor. On April Fool’s Day 2011, Groupon claimed to have bought the holiday and detailed 20 years’ worth of tongue-in-cheek pranks, including “2027: Andrew Mason to quit Groupon, hunt pumas to extinction.”
However, Mason was ousted from the company in February following dismal first-quarter earnings. In an open letter to Groupon employees, Mason joked he “decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding — I was fired today,” and requested recommendations for a “fat camp.”
The album is available on iTunes and Spotify, and might in fact be worth a listen. In the words of Mashable’s Seth Fiegerson, “If you can ignore the feeling that this is a man going through a midlife crisis after getting fired from his own company, there is some worthwhile wisdom here.”