"Groupon is a misunderstood company. We're misunderstood by analysts. We're misunderstood by media. We're misunderstood by consumers," says Williams, "both those who haven't visited our site in awhile and those who've never purchased from us." He adds, "We haven't done enough to tell our story over the past few years. And we haven't always been humble about our hits and misses." He seems to be referring to the fact many people believe Groupon's business model isn't designed for success, as well as consumers not knowing what Groupon is or how to make the most of it.
Williams also said that Groupon being simply "an email daily deal company" is nothing more than a myth. "The reality here is twofold: first, we're a marketplace -- and a big one -- one with more than half a million deals in three different categories," he says. "Sure, email is still important, but more of our purchases come from on-site search than email, and more than half our purchases occur on mobile. There's simply nowhere better on the internet to find awesome local merchants, great products and amazing travel offers and experiences all in one place."
The Groupon CEO finished his open letter by claiming that he's not crazy for taking over the company "in a very dark time." He writes, "No one is handing us the keys to local with a big red bow tied around them. And while I'm shaking things up, I assure you that I'm not crazy. So I don't look at this as a dark time. I look at this as a time to make things happen, faster. It's the time to realize our potential and make Groupon better for merchants, for consumers, for employees and for shareholders."
[Image credits: Getty Images]