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When Groupon was said to have turned down a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google, many onlookers wondered what could possibly have motivated that decision.  Now we know: the ability to earn $760 million in revenue in 2010, along with the goal of bringing in over a billion this year.

Those figures were mentioned in an internal memo that leaked this afternoon, so unless CEO Andrew Mason is trying to teach everyone a lesson about respecting boundaries, they should be solid.  They’re kind of amazing, too, considering that Groupon’s 2009 revenue totaled just $33 million, making for a 23-fold year-over-year increase.

Otherwise, Mason told his team, "By this time next year, we will either be on our way to becoming one of the great technology brands that define our generation, or a cool idea by people who were out executed and out innovated by others that were smarter and harder working."

And Mason would of course prefer the first scenario.  "Life is too short to be part of another cookie cutter company.  Surprise reminds people that they are alive, that they haven’t seen it all.  Let’s make Groupon the reason that people wake up every day," he urged.

Then Groupon’s CEO gets bonus points for making a Lord of the Rings reference ("If you feel a little like Frodo climbing Mount Doom, you can’t be blamed") while acknowledging that this will be a difficult task.

Anyway, credit goes to Michael Hickins for obtaining the internal memo.