Andrew Mason is the CEO and founder of Groupon, a deal-of-the-day website. Or well, he was—he was fired recently. Notifying the Groupon staff about his departure in an email, he made a ridiculously specific video game reference to Battletoads, which Wired breaks down for us.

Mason wrote:

I'm OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through.

What does that even mean? If you recall, Battletoads is an infamously hard video game. It's often referenced as the most difficult video game ever, actually.

Wired's Chris Kohler muses two possibilities for Mason's comment:

1. To get to the Terra Tubes on one's first try, having never played the game before, would be a Herculean, almost impossible, achievement. Therefore, getting this far with Groupon was in and of itself either a colossal feat of genius or a lucky miracle, depending on how charitably you want to interpret the metaphor.

2. Dying on the Terra Tubes, which are designed to make you die over and over, is no shameful thing.

You can read a more specific breakdown here, but aside from that, all that's left is choosing how you interpret Mason's statement. If nothing else, I'm sure that we can all agree that it's an interesting metaphor that most staff members probably didn't get.

What Ousted Groupon CEO's Battletoads Reference Meant [Wired]