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Groupon'S Biggest Deal Ever


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About the Author

Frank Sennett is the Editor-in-Chief of Time Out Chicago. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's School of Journalism, earned an MFA from the University of Montana, and has published seven previous books.


Groupon CEO Andrew Mason takes center stage in this story about the company's founding, development, and explosive assent. Tracing the unfolding drama, Sennett (editor-in-chief of Time Out Chicago and author of 101 Stunts for Principals) takes us from November 2006, when Mason first pitched the idea for Policy Tree (Groupon's precursor) to Eric Lefkofsky, the man who became Groupon's chairman, to early November 2011, when Groupon finally went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Sennett commendably keeps the story lively, presenting an array of tales about the pranks and hijinks that went on within the company. But the pace inevitably slows as the narrative shifts to details about takeovers and the company's attempt at getting its IPO approved by the SEC. However, it's refreshing and enjoyable to read Sennett's likable portrait of Mason ("the inexperienced CEO hiding a brilliant analytical mind behind a goofball demeanor") and Lefkofsky (nicknamed "Punchable" by Mason for his hard-edged, "alpha dog" attitude). Sennett succeeds in presenting a balanced view of the company, complete with bad press and "damaging controversy." Agent: Mel Flashman, Trident Media Group. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

In this company biography, Sennett (editor in chief, Time Out Chicago) follows a hometown favorite, Groupon, and its cofounder and CEO Andrew Mason along a meteoric path. It all began with a site called The Point (inspired by Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point), where contributors could back projects they believed in (including a possible climate-controlled dome over Chicago). When this failed to take off, the site began to focus more on local merchants and group-buying opportunities. In 2008, the name changed to Groupon, with the first deal being a classic two-for-one pizza offer. From this humble start to their now famous refusal of a $6 billion-dollar buy-out offer from Google to their $16.7 billion IPO in November 2011, the team behind Groupon led the way, inspiring and outlasting an avalanche of competitors. VERDICT A quick and surprisingly interesting look at the people behind the deals that land in your inbox every day. [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/11.]-Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. of Ohio, Oxford (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Advance Praise for "Groupon's Biggest Deal Ever" "Fresh, fun, and exciting! A great inside business story wonderfully told."-Tony Hsieh, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Delivering Happiness" and CEO of, Inc. "By the end of the first chapter, Sennett's nuggets of detail swell into full-blown revelations. "The Time Out Chicago" editor in chief quickly plunges readers into Groupon's boardroom, providing one of the most detailed accounts of how close the founders came in late 2010 to accepting a $5.75 billion buyout offer from Google and why they ultimately rejected it... The cover of Sennett's book promises "the inside story" of the Chicago-based daily deal company that went from tech startup to multibillion-dollar initial public offering in less than four years, and that's what it delivers. Even the closest of Groupon observers will learn a lot. And they'll also hear from company insiders who rarely grant interviews... Through numerous anecdotes and observations, Sennett also captures all 360 degrees of Mason's personality, from his stubbornness and immaturity to his talent, dedication and loyalty... Sennett has provided us with a well-written and revealing first draft of the company's start."--"Chicago Tribune ""["Groupon's Biggest Deal Ever"] is the first comprehensive examination of Chicago's overnight Internet star; it takes readers from the company's start, through its almost-sale to Google Inc. in late 2010 to its IPO last fall.""--Crain's Chicago Business ""The 'insane gamble' referred to in the subtitle is the one in which Andrew Mason, the founder of the Internet coupon site Groupon, turned down a $6 billion buyout offer from Google...Told with an appealingly jaunty prose style (imagine Ben Mezrich but with even more enthusiasm), the story portrays Mason as a plucky entrepreneur, a laidback and politically incorrect school prankster who, on the other hand, is a sharp-as-a-tack computer programmerm

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