Andrew Warner who produces the video show Mixergy has published his interview with Andrew Mason, founder of Groupon. While Groupon has recently been given a 5 billion dollar acquisition bid by Google, it wasn’t easy getting started. In fact, Andrew cobbled together scripts and blog posts on a WordPress powered website to get things off the ground.
All we did was we took a WordPress Blog and we skimmed it to say Groupon and then every day we would do a new post with the points embedded. It was totally ghetto. We would sell t-shirts on the first version of Groupon. We’d say in the right up, ‘This t-shirt will come in the color red, size large. If you want a different color or size, email that to us.’ We didn’t have a form to add that stuff. We were just, it was so cobbled together. It was enough to prove the concept and show that it was something that people really liked. The actual coupon generation that we were doing was all FileMaker. We would run a script that would email the coupon PDF to people. It got to the point where we’d sell 500 sushi coupons in a day and we’d send 500 PDFs to people with Apple Mail at the same time. Really the first, until July of the first year was just a scrambling to grab the tiger by the tail. It was trying to catch up and reasonable piece together a product.
You can watch the entire interview right here which beyond the merits of using WordPress to get started, is a great story in and of itself.