IP Uh Oh
Rumors of Andrew Mason’s imminent demise as Groupon CEO started swirling back in November, but the bubble officially burst today following Groupon’s “disastrous” financial report.
Yesterday, in response to question about how the numbers would affect Mr. Mason, Groupon spokesperson Paul Taaffee told Bloomberg, “He’s here today.” He was speaking literally.
Groupon just announced that Mr. Mason is being replaced. The company has named a “newly created Office of the Chief Executive,” led by executive chairman Eric Lefkofsky and vice chairman Ted Leonsis, who will “serve in this role on an interim basis.”
Speaking at TED, Sergey Brin called the smartphone user experience “emasculating,” on the basis that ”You’re standing around and just rubbing this featureless piece of glass.” Maybe Google that word when you get home, Sergey. [CNET]
Could perennial concerns about cancer keep Google Glass from realizing its full potential as a wearable communication device? [Quartz]
Groupon didn’t do so hot in Q4, causing a big drop in the company’s stock in after-hours trading. ”The forecast is underwhelming,” said one analyst. No kidding. [Reuters]
Time Warner Cable is pretty sure you don’t even want gigabit Internet. Because when you think “attentive to customer desires,” you think Time Warner Cable. [Verge]
I.B.M. is still figuring out money-making uses for the supercomputer Watson. Besides all the big data applications, he apparently makes a mean croissant. [New York Times]
king of new york?
For a city that has wears its ambition to become a technology hub on its sleeve, New York lacks those coveted billion dollar exits that lend credibility to the ecosystem and help buttress the ever-multiplying ranks of startups.
Obama just signed into law a bill that makes it legal for Netflix to share what you watch on your Facebook page (provided you give them the okay, of course). [Gizmodo]
Yikes: CNET was forced to withdraw a “Best of CES” award by its parent company, CBS, which is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Dish, the company that makes the product in question. [Buzzfeed]
Hey, Groupon stock is trading at double its all-time low! Before anyone breaks out the champagne, that’s around $5.20. [TNW]
GM is hiring a thousand high-tech workers–software developers, database experts, etc.–for a new “innovation center” in a suburb of Atlanta. [Wall Street Journal]
“We’re fucked. These guys don’t want to take over our land—they want to come over and take our water and go back. They like where they are.” [AllThingsD]
And it seemed like British politicians had let the internet off the hook in crafting proposed regulations to reign in the unruly U.K. press. Not so fast. Policy directors from Google and Facebook have been summoned to appear before Parliament next week. [Tech Crunch]
Twice yearly, Google releases data on government requests to remove Read More
Bet you thought the next big story in the ailing daily deals business was going to be Andrew Mason’s ouster. And yet, it’s a competitor making headlines: Bloomberg News reports that LivingSocial has laid off 400 of its 4,500 employees. That’s about 9 percent of its staff, for those keeping score at home.
What’s a young CEO to do amid rumors that he may soon be relieved of his duties? Hunker down and lobby privately for an extended tenure? Or sit for a public interview on the subject of his imminent demise?
That was the question from Groupon CEO Andrew Mason faced this week, as gossip swirled Read More
Late last night, Twitter tongues wagged as to whether Groupon’s goofy CEO Andrew Mason would actually show up for his scheduled appearance at Business Insider’s Ignition conference in New York, especially after his name disappeared from the agenda.
“He has been off most relevant agendas for quite some time. The exception, of course, is the SEC watch list,” Interview Circuit founder Jon Sterling quipped, referencing the beleaguered company’s repeated run-ins with the commission (most recently over revenue details from its new business lines and questions about the daily deal site’s financial revision this spring.)
When Spotify landed in the competitive U.S. digital music marketplace last summer, it was boosted by a cresting wave of good publicity, strong track record in Europe and a $100 million investment funding round that valued the company at $1 billion.
That wasn’t all: Given the strong demand for Pandora and LinkedIn IPOs (and even stronger anticipation for the eventual Facebook offering), Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s timing for a U.S. launch seemed spot on.
Well, things have changed: Share prices for high profile tech IPOs such as Facebook, Zynga and Groupon have tanked, and as Spotify readies to close its latest round of fund-raising, the company looks likely to fall short of its goal. Instead of the $4 billion valuation that Spotify initially sought, the company will likely settle for something “slightly more than $3 billion,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
Groupon has launched its own iPad payment system in hopes of rivaling Square. Good luck with that. [The Next Web]
Kids these days don’t want a stupid computer, ’cuz they’re for old people. [Wired]
A court has ruled that book scanning counts as fair use, much to the chagrin of the Author’s Guild. [Ars Technica]
Google has launched a large online museum called the Cultural Institute, boasting 42 different exhibits. [The Daily Dot]
A 25-year-old female Redditor has made it her mission to publicly out those she calls “Predditors” who post sexualized photos of women to r/creepshots without their consent. [Jezebel]
For the last time, please stop giving your startup meaningless, baffling names. [Wired]