Sunday, October 07, 2012

Has Zynga Faced A Paradigm Shift?

Microsoft was a PC company and the web came along. Bill Gates fantasized about turning off the Internet, completely. It was a paradigm shift that was not going in his favor. In some ways Microsoft never came around to embracing the web. It is a big company, but it is still a Windows company.

Zynga of course is no Microsoft, but for a while it was the fastest growing company in history. That is a crown of sorts. But for now it feels like Zynga has not been able to climb the next big mountain.

Zynga, just like Facebook, has not cracked mobile.

Being data driven is good, but being too data driven can make you miss trends that are just around the corner. Because your reflexes have become too mechanical. I think Pincus might have become too data driven somewhere along the way.

But I am an optimist. I give companies like Zynga - trailblazers - the benefit of doubt. I think they retain the capacity to perhaps turn things around. The proof is in the pudding though.

Other than missing mobile, Zuck and Pincus also have something else in common. Both have dictatorial powers. That does not look like a good arrangement when things look to be going downhill.

Pincus strikes me as someone quirky. He just might be able to pull it off. In about a year or two. And a billion dollar valuation is not a bad floor to have. Just stop the f___g bleeding.

As Zynga Stock And Outlook Craters, Is It Time For Mark Pincus To Step Down As CEO?
Draw Something, a game that earlier this year was the hottest thing on the planet for about a month...... at the moment, like Zynga was a shooting star, driven by several viral hits, rather than a stable, enduring company. ..... like many recent Internet companies that went public, Zynga structured the stock ownership to give Pincus majority control. Pincus has 50.15 percent control of the voting shares. That means, ultimately, he is the decider, and not the board. ..... the valley’s prevailing conventional wisdom, which says the biggest, most successful companies are driven by strong-willed founders. Pincus has been that. And for a long time, it seemed he had the right vision in terms of gaming and social media.
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