Ousted Groupon CEO Andrew Mason just released his first full-length album, “Hardly Workin’.”
The seven-track album is available on for purchase on iTunes and is streaming on Spotify.
“This album pulls some of the most important learnings from my years at the helm of one of the fastest growing businesses in history, and packages them as music,” Mason wrote in a blog post this morning. “Executives, mid-level management, and front-line employees are all sure to find valuable takeaways. I’ve probably listened to the album over a dozen times now, and with each spin I feel like I learn something.”
In less than 24 hours since the release, the album is already up on RapGenius, a site that takes song lyrics and explains them to you.
The album is more country than anything else, but includes a taste of hip-hop and gospel.
Let’s do a quick breakdown of some of the most important lyrics from each track, with the help of RapGenius:
“Look No Further”
“If you’re seeking business wisdom, you don’t need no MBA. Look no further than the beauty that surrounds us every day.”
Mason famously never got an MBA. Instead, he majored in music. But one could argue that maybe you do need an MBA, given what happened to Mason.
“The Way to Work”
Mason references cruising down Grand Avenue in Chicago, just a few blocks south of Groupon’s headquarters. He talks about how he takes the time to reflect on life on his way to work.
“I look at the road ahead. It reminds me that the journey is the reason I get out of bed and work.”
As RapGenius notes, “journey is the reason” is a common concept in business and self-help genres.
“My Door Is Always Open”
In “My Door Is Always Open,” Mason seems to be alluding to the fact that he was a good, transparent manager.
Mason also points to how hierarchical office environments are not productive for the overall company.
“How do you think I learn what’s going on? Yeah I need you to come to me when something’s wrong, son. My door is always open.”
“Risin’ Above The Pack”
Employee work environments can sometimes become competitive and even hostile. Mason seems to be trying to encourage disenfranchised employees.
“Don’t you know they’re all feeling the same way. Time to arbitrage their insecurity, wipe it away and fill with desire to rise to the top of your company.”
Mason has a blues-style feel to K.I.S.S. where he pays homage to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The song is all about keeping it simple. Mason arguably turned a very simple idea into a once incredibly successful company with millions of subscribers, and a billion dollars in funding.
Mason experiments with more of a hip hop sound in this track. “Stretch” seems to be a very fitting title for this song.
“Your goals should bounce bounce bounce cause you’ve stretched them so far out. Quantify your best and then add 20 per cent. Stretch it out baby.”
Listening to the track, you feel a sense of regret from Mason. Before Mason got ousted as CEO of Groupon, the company had missed its own expectations for two quarters.
“It’s Up To Us”
The last track on the album looks back favourably at what Groupon set out to accomplish. In it, Mason sings, “This is our moment to disrupt an industry.”
Later in the song, he makes a reference to the story that highlights the good character of Revolutionary War hero and the first president of the United States, George Washington.
“No one said it’d be easy, but it reminds me of another boy that had to fight to be free after he cut down that cherry tree,” Mason sings.
Mason is essentially comparing himself to the late Washington.
Hardly Workin’ is most definitely an inspirational album. Though, there are some moments where you feel a little awkward.
We’re having trouble embedding the songs from Spotify, but will do so as soon as possible.
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