When Andreessen Horowitz invested a whopping $15 million into Rap Genius this past fall, they were keen to point out that the platform can be used for decoding more than song lyrics, and extend to other forms of wordplay — literature, historical texts, political speeches, and the like. The venture capital firm has really put their mouths where their money is. Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz have both logged onto Rap Genius to add their own decodings of the memo issued this past week by Groupon’s founder Andrew Mason after he’d been fired from his position as CEO.Andreessen Horowitz was a key investor in Groupon in the frothy lead-up to its IPO, so seeing their insights is particularly rich.
Really, you should just head over and read the whole thing, because it’s fascinating. For example, when Mason refers to “controversial metrics in our S1,” Andreessen explains in detail:
“Andrew is referring to the use of non-standard financial metrics in the company’s SEC filings, particularly in the IPO filing (S1).
As someone who was in the room as an observer at the Groupon board when the decision to use these metrics was made, I think Groupon was honestly trying to provide additional information that investors would find useful, which mirrored the way management thought about running the business.
However, no good deed goes unpunished, and widespread media paranoia about business metrics still lingering from the 2000 dot com crash combined with other missteps on Groupon’s part combined to make the use of those non-standard metrics highly controversial and ultimately negative for the company.”
So far Groupon has not turned out how many may have hoped it would, especially for its venture capital investors. This is a very good way to roll with it — and show off a newer portfolio company in the meantime. Well played, Marc and Ben.