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Ex-Groupon CEO's Debut Album Of Business Wisdom Raises More Questions Than It Answers

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As you've probably heard by now, Andrew Mason, the Groupon CEO who was unceremoniously fired in February from the company he founded, has released an album called Hardly Workin'. It includes tracks entitled "Look No Further," "Risin' Above The Pack," "My Door Is Always Open," and "It's Up To Us," a sample of whose lyrics go something like this:

  • "If you’re seeking business wisdom / You don’t need no MBA / Look no further than the beauty/ That surrounds us every day."
  • "Obsess and pout and position / Yourself to get to that higher level. Well now I'll tell you / To forget what you've learned / You push before you're ready you're gonna get burned"
  • "How do you think I learn what’s going on? / Yeah I need you to come to me when something’s wrong, son / My door is always open."
  • "Don't you want a mansion and yacht like mine? / It doesn't come easy / You gotta stay determined / It might look like magic but I'm not Merlin / You gotta stay focused retain that hunger / Or you'll never ever ever be the next Charlie Munger

Initially, we here at Dealbreaker assumed this whole thing was an elaborate joke Mason was playing on the universe, simply because he had time on his hands, so why not? Upon further examination, however, it appears that he is either not kidding at all or is amazingly committed to seeing the joke through. For example, on his blog, Andy actually wrote this:

Before I leave you to your speaker system or headphones, one word of advice for managers thinking about how to make best use of the album: Context is king. Sure, you can just leave copies of Hardly Workin' on your employees' desks and achieve an incremental increase in productivity and morale (productivity is a function of morale, people!), but I wrote this album as someone someone who believes that messages mean different things depending on the time and place they're delivered. Try ending your next all-hands meeting with "It's Up to Us," for example. 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.

So, 1. He seems to believe that companies will be quick to start incorporating his tunes into new employee orientation programs or as a motivational technique for existing employees whose productivity has waned and 2. He's pretty certain that instead of having a normal chat with someone about their work, leaving an unsettling care package on their desk, that culminates in the the following coming through their speakers, is the way to go:

It's up to us, it's up to us
It's up to us, it's up to us
Our success is up to us
We've got vision
We've got a team

The funny thing is it's in our hands
The funny thing is it's all around us
It's up to us
It's up to us
It's up to us and no one else
It's up to us, it's up to us
Our success is up to us The opportunity to disrupt
We'll all look back and feel so lucky
To make history
It won't be easy
No pain, no gain
If we can take it, the rest is up to us It's up to us, it's up to us
It's up to us, and no one else
It's up to us, it's up to us
Our success is up to us

Not gonna kid ya, I can't tell you how long it'll take
But I know if we stay focused
Moments like this shape our lives
Some of you will reflect on this as as the time of our lives

If you took the time to listen to that track, you'd know that the end includes what can only be described as a gospel breakdown. Which seems to suggest that in fact this is a next-level prank Andy spent the last 4.5+ months putting the finishing touches on.

Former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason Is the Raffi of Dot-Com Flameouts [Daily Intel]