In 2006, Andrew Mason got frustrated with the cancellation of his cell phone contract. He thought, “Perhaps I can create a website that allows for groups of people to protest things.” It was an enlightening idea, but Mason soon found out it was a money loser.
So, he came up with a twist: Why not use the platform to allow people to get huge discounts on deals from local merchants? The result, of course, was the birth of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN).
While it was a brilliant idea, it was easy to replicate, which meant Mason has had to find creative ways to set Groupon apart. A big key was his wackiness, and he made “daily deals” fun — and big. Groupon now has a market value of $12 billion, greater than names like Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG), Mattel (NYSE:MAT) and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR).
The most recent sign of Mason’s success: He was interviewed by 60 Minutes‘ Lesley Stahl. The interview will air during this week’s episode at 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS (NYSE:CBS). It should be interesting. And if you want a peek, here’s a preview:
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.