Groupon is scheduled to launch an IPO tomorrow and some say it could have a valuation of $12 billion. Regardless of Groupon's valuation and how you feel about the company, Groupon is a great story on the power of entrepreneurship. The business you are working on today could be one "pivot" away from a billion dollar idea.
Four-and-a-half years ago I interviewed with the people behind Groupon, specifically Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, who provided the early funding for what became Groupon (I learned days later that my family was moving to Boston, so I didn't proceed with the conversations). They were speaking to me about opportunities at their portfolio companies, one of which was thepoint.com, a site focused on effecting social change through collective group activity. While ThePoint still exists today, it was the initial business that spurred the idea behind Groupon.
It is amazing and inspiring to think that four-and-a-half years ago Groupon didn't exist and now Wall Street is valuing it at $12 billion. The concept of the "pivot" has been popularized by Eric Ries' Lean Startup Methodology, which loosely defines a pivot as changing the strategic direction of a company based on user feedback. A business (regardless of the size) should be constantly testing its operating assumptions by getting customer feedback every step of the way.
To all of you entrepreneurs, keep listening to your customers, think big, and execute quickly, and within a few years you could be the next Groupon as well.
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