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It was written in an email by the co-founder of a company called Starbelly.com, which labeled itself a B2B provider -- back when people greeted that phrase with a straight face. It's pretty much what you'd expect a novice executive to say back then, when it was all about money and not at all about creating something good. if we get wacked [sic] on the ride down-who gives a shit... WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE...”This is a quote from the dot-com era.Shareholders and others blamed the Starbelly deal, and a series of lawsuits ensued.Before Starbelly, Keywell and Lefkofsky founded a sportswear company called Brandon Apparel. Everyone remembers things they said a decade or more ago they may regret today.And failure is hardly something to be ashamed of in tech; usually it’s heralded as a mark of having shot for the moon, something to be prized and not frowned upon.“It ended up being a huge failure,” Lefkofsky wrote on his blog.At first, the company -- like Groupon -- saw fast growth, with revenue rising from million to million. “We over-leveraged the company and it eventually crumbled under the weight of that debt,” Lefkofsky wrote.

But Brandon Apparel's tanking yielded a series of lawsuits.Eric Lefkofsky is the co-founder and chairman of Groupon, which filed last week for an IPO valuing the company at billion, as well as its largest shareholder, with a pre-IPO 22% stake in the company.The other co-founders include Andrew Mason (8% stake), the cherubic public face of Groupon; and Bradley Keywell (7% stake), who also co-founded Starbelly with Lefkofsky. Not long after that transaction, Ha-Lo declared bankruptcy. In early 2000, Starbelly sold itself to another company called Ha-Lo Industries for 0 million, much of which went to the author of those words, a man named Eric Lefkofsky.

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