FORTUNE -- Back in December 2010, it was impossible to get away from reports that Google (GOOG) was in talks to acquire Groupon (GRPN) for $6 billion. But when the NY Times reached out to Groupon CEO Andrew Mason for comment, he said that he would agree to an interview "only if you want to talk about my other passion, building miniature dollhouses."
For some reason I took the bait, and let Mason know that I'd love to discuss miniature dollhouses. He quickly replied via email, asking for a list of questions. So I did minimal research, and sent some over. But he never replied.
I had forgotten all about this episode until Saturday, when a Groupon writer named Daniel Kibblesmith put up a blog post about how answering my dollhouse questions was "my favorite writing assignment I ever got from Andrew Mason." And the answers he posted are quite amusing. Here are two examples of my questions and "Mason's" replies:
How many miniature dollhouses do you own? Where do you store them? Are they kept on display? Are visitors allowed to touch?
A lot of the collection is still at my parents place since they're so precarious to move. Like most serious miniaturists, most of it stays in private climate-controlled storage, but I rotate my in-house exhibition seasonally, with the occasional holiday flourish. I just commissioned these amazing chroma-shifting fiber optic Christmas lights that are like the size of pin pricks. I recruited one of our development interns to try to synch them to "Carol of the Bells," so finger's crossed it'll be ready before New Years.
Will Groupon be offering a deal for the Chicago International miniatures convention this April? Are you going?
I'm not trying to slam anyone in the scene, but can we all agree it's gotten really commercial? Plus, if I have to watch that glorified whittler Marlene Wertz smugly accept another Minnie Award for Most Historically Accurate Colonial, I swear I'm going to whip a chifforobe at her temple.
Unfortunately, Kibblesmith doesn't know why Groupon never forwarded them on to me. Sounds like someone in legal didn't have a sense of humor…
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Groupon CEO saw it coming.
FORTUNE -- Andrew Mason was officially fired as CEO of Groupon (GRPN) last Thursday, but it didn't come as a surprise to the 31 year-old.
A source close to the situation says Mason "totally knew" that the board planned to replace him during its quarterly meeting, and that there had been a "continuing dialog" over his future role with the company.
Rumors that Mason would be axed began MOREDan Primack - Mar 4, 2013 12:33 PM ET
Has Groupon helped or 'done zilch' for Chicago tech?
FORTUNE -- Last week Erin Griffith wrote that a 2013 IPO for flash sales site Gilt Groupe would be huge for the New York City tech scene. Venture capitalist Greg Gretsch followed up by tweeting that the IPO itself must be long-term successful for it to matter in NYC, since Groupon's IPO (GRPN) "has done zilch for the Chicago tech scene."
First, let's all acknowledge MOREDan Primack - Jan 14, 2013 2:11 PM ET
A $20 million reservation?
FORTUNE -- Groupon (GRPN) yesterday acquired Savored, a digital provider of restaurant reservations and reviews, in a move that seemed designed to muscle in a bit on OpenTable's (OPEN) turf.
No financial terms were disclosed, but Fortune has learned that the purchase price was between $15 million and $20 million (including earn-outs). At least some of it was paid in cash.
Our source adds that the two companies actually MOREDan Primack - Sep 25, 2012 12:41 PM ET
Are VCs really backing away from Groupon?
FORTUNE -- Have you heard that early Groupon (GRPN) investors are bailing on the company? Well, some of them. Maybe less than half. But one of them is a big name, so it must mean the entire Internet sector is screwed.
Does this strike you as a bit confusing? Well then, it seems you aren't an editor at The Wall Street Journal, which put this muddle MOREDan Primack - Aug 20, 2012 5:13 PM ET
Groupon impresses in its first earnings report as a public company.
Groupon (GRPN) today reported better-than-expected revenue today, in its first quarterly report since going public last November.
The Chicago-based daily deals company reported $506.5 million in Q4 2011 revenue, compared to $172.2 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue also rose 18% quarter-over-quarter, with Q1 2012 revenue guidance of between $510 million and $550 million.
. Gross billings rose 201% year-to-year, to $1.25 MOREDan Primack - Feb 8, 2012 4:05 PM ET
Many of Groupon's private stock sales are in the red.
Groupon (GRPN) shares are still trading above last month's IPO price, but are well below where they were trading on private secondary markets over the summer.
Companies like Groupon are not required to publicly report their private share sale prices, and secondary exchange SecondMarket was prohibited from releasing Groupon data because it participated in the IPO underwriting syndicate (via a partnership with Morgan MOREDan Primack - Dec 19, 2011 3:53 PM ET
Did you hear? The tech bubble has burst. Seriously. Just before noon on Wednesday, when Groupon (GRPN) began trading below its $20 per share IPO price.
Don't take my word for it. Gawker says so. The New York Times does too, albeit in less hyperbolic terms.
It's the biggest tech catastrophe since Kozmo.com stopped delivering Krispy Kremes to shut-ins on the Upper East Side. If you're holding stock in an Internet company that MOREDan Primack - Nov 25, 2011 10:06 AM ET
New Enterprise Associates has no celebrities on its staff. It stays under the radar - and lets its results do the talking.
FORTUNE -- Quick, name the largest venture capital firm in the world. If you didn't come up with New Enterprise Associates (NEA), you're not alone. Although it has over 100 employees in eight offices, big-name investments such as Groupon and Diapers.com, and a fantastic track record, NEA keeps a very MOREDan Primack - Nov 7, 2011 5:00 AM ET
Had enough Groupon IPO talk? Get ready for Angie's List.
Today's Internet IPO came from Chicago. The next one is expected to come from Indianapolis.
Fortune has learned that Angie's List, an online provider of consumer reviews on local services, is planning to price its IPO early in the week of November 14. The company plans to offer nearly 8.8 million shares at between $11 and $13 per share, which could give MOREDan Primack - Nov 4, 2011 2:19 PM ET
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