Groupon Founder Andrew Mason Tells ABC News He 'Just Wanted to Work on Cool Stuff'

Groupon, the daily deal site founded in Chicago in 2008, surprised many by turning down a reported $6 billion acquisition offer from Google. In an interview with ABC News, founder Andrew Mason explained his decision to remain independent.

“I never wanted to be in this position. I just wanted to work on cool stuff,” Mason told ABC News. The company evolved from the Point, a fundraising site, and found its niche offering daily discounts from local businesses. A unique company culture and an “irrational stubbornness” were key in the company’s early success, the founder said. “… we maintain that we’re a company that has a personality in the same way that people have a personality.”

Now that Groupon has expanded into 300 markets in 35 countries, the company has more at stake. “Actually, none of it’s been easy,” said Mason. “Once you actually develop the mentality that you need to be successful, part of that mentality is being constantly afraid and paranoid about failures so that you can be on the lookout for avoiding those things — making the path to success just completely depressing because all you’re thinking about is the ways you’re about to screw up.”

To other entrepreneurs Mason advised,  “… if anyone is weirdly, for whatever strange reason, is jealous of me, then you’re off on the wrong track already,” he said. “Stop thinking about where you’re going to end up and just think about the path and get satisfaction out of that.”

Check out the video interview here.