Zynga Founder "Bored with Games"
Mark Pincus, founder of casual games juggernaut Zynga, finally understands what I’ve been saying all along: casual games are boring!
No, really: according to the Wall Street Journal, Pincus made the comments during a trip to Israel to meet with Israeli technology startups. At one session organized by a nonprofit group called the Garage Geeks, Pincus was asked by an interviewer what his favorite game was, to which Pincus replied: “Right now, I’m pretty bored with all games.”
Pincus then declined to walk back this statement, suggesting he is fully aware of the potential public relations impacts, and just doesn’t care. That’s a bold position for the founder and former boss of a publicly-traded company, who is still chairman and chief product officer. Imagine Steve Jobs, after he stepped down, saying he’s bored of smartphones, or Bill Gates saying he’s over computers. Sure, you might be thinking it inside, but you just don’t say it out loud.
Or maybe you do, if you’re Mark Pincus. The tech exec has a history of unusual frankness: he was famously, refreshingly honest about Zynga’s early business strategy in remarks made back in 2008, when he admitted, “I knew I needed revenues, right, fucking, now… So I funded the company myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away.”
I’m all for honesty, especially from corporate executives, who usually seem to be trying to lull their audiences to sleep with meaningless platitudes about giving 110% and putting the customer first. Still, if you’re the chief product officer of a company, and you freely admit that you don’t like your own products, isn’t that sort of, well… terrible in every way?