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You Are Not Groupon. Phew!
June 3, 2011
By Howard Mann

There is much buzz, chatter and opionion over the announcement of Groupon going public (And this smart post from David Heinemeier Hansson should tell you why it is not as rosy as it seems). Much the same as so many that ogled over the previous discussions of Google looking to acquire them for 6 billion. We seem obsessed with “wonder” companies like Groupon, Twitter, Zynga, Facebook,etc… Somehow they represent the business equivalent of winning the lottery and we forget the odds of getting there are about the same. And that is more than okay. We look at them and try to find the missing ingredient they have used so we can just splash it on our business to have the same success (Or, as it turns out is the case with Groupon, staggering losses to match their staggering revenue).

You are not Groupon et al. And you should feel better about that fact than you probably do.

We business owners have a problem letting our businesses be themselves. And for that to be enough.

I have lost count of how many great businesses I have encountered through my career. From a company that makes door hardware to a company that makes 100 varieties of adhesive plastic hooks. They make a lot of revenue and a lot of profit and receive little to no press. They may only grow 5-10% every year but they grow and hire. Year after year and decade after decade. They work hard and are building something to last. Maybe it is not Groupon revenue or Zynga profits. So what?

Your business is yours. The ingredients are yours. No investors, lenders, bloggers or experts telling you why and what to do. And, as long as you are having fun and making some money, that can and should be enough.

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