One thing I plan on doing in retirement is find a potential encore career. As a computer and internet junky who has built up a reasonable size blog, a foray into the social media sector seems like a natural extension. I want to make sure that I exhaust all options before I really kick back and harass my father on the golf course a couple times a week.
Applying to positions is so easy now thanks to the internet and LinkedIn. It takes around five minutes per online application and you will get an e-mail confirmation immediately after pressing send. For those who don’t know, Zynga is an online social game maker of Farmville, Words With Friends, and other names that rely predominantly on Facebook’s user platform to make money via ads and virtual goods.
Given I’ve been reminded about Zynga with Mark Pincus’ handsome face all smiling down below in my post, “How The Rich And Powerful Become More Rich And Powerful,” I figured why not shoot them an application despite their horrendous reputation for long work hours and ruthless management.. I didn’t talk to Mark at Marissa’s party, but I did swing by their sweet offices once in the SF Design District.
For most of June and July, Zynga’s stock hovered around $5 a share, a 65% decline from its recent March 2012 high of $14.20. I figured in my ever optimistic self that it was better to get options at $5 than all the poor folks who joined earlier in the year at much higher levels.
And so, between scrubbing my chiseled pecs during bath time earlier this month, I submitted my application. A couple weeks later I got this rejection letter:
TIME TO UNLEASH THE FIST OF FURY!
I started crying my eyes out when I got the e-mail. How could they reject someone like me! I’m a hard working, loyal soldier, who plays Words With Friends for free, and partied with the big boss, Mark Pincus! Come on now! Don’t they know who I am?
Like a Prom Queen scorned by a fickle King, I decided that if I can’t have Zynga, NOBODY CAN! I went into the deepest cracks of my cobwebbed mind to conjure up the most potent of spells. After 20 seconds of practice, I chanted:
“Ommm, howwwww, could, youuu, wrooong, meee ZyngaaaaaaaH. Youuuuu, muuuust, paaaaaaaay, for this dishonorrrrrr. Saaay gooodbyeeee to youur leeetle foooze ball tabullll and shittttttay gamezzzzz!”
After the close on Wed, July 25, just days after the spell was cast, Zynga shit the bed and slashed 2012 forecasts by 70%. The stock tumbled 40% to $3 a share.
Oops, wrong spell! I meant to just give the recruiter a little morning diarrhea, not blow up the entire company!
* Don’t make me mad because I have spellz.
* Watch what insiders do. They sold $500 million worth of stock at $12 in April, 2012.
* Winds change, trends change, tastes change.
* Not all startups will make you rich. In fact, many start ups will make you poor by wasting your time and underpaying you.
* There are blessings in disguise all the time. Be optimistic.
* Don’t be overly reliant on one source of traffic (FB).
* When in motion, objects tend to stay in motion.
* Not everything is as it seems.
* You can talk the talk, but bullshit walks. Numbers are what matters for public companies.
* Don’t be naive.
* There will be casualties of war.
* Don’t take things personally.
* It’s only money.
* Companies are allowed to lie, “As you know, we are growing rapidly!” Uh, I don’t think so!
Readers, would you work at Zynga? Do you think there will now be a mass exodus of employees at Zynga, thereby increasing my chances of working there? Do you think insiders new about the bad trend in April? Will Zynga survive as a public company a year from now?
Oh, and don’t feel sorry for Zynga executives and major shareholders. Here’s what they got when they sold in April:
- Marc Pincus, Zynga’s CEO, sold 16.5 million shares for $200 million
- Institutional Venture Partners, a Zynga investor, sold 5.8 million shares for $70 million
- Union Square Ventures, a Zynga investor, sold 5.2 million shares for $62 million
- Google, a Zynga investor, sold 4 million shares for $48 million
- SilverLake Partners, a Zynga investor, sold 4 million shares for $48 million
- Reid Hoffman, a Zynga investor, sold 688,000 shares for $8.2 million
- David Wehner, Zynga’s CFO, sold 386,000 shares for $4.6 million
- John Schappert, Zynga’s COO, sold 322,000 shares for $3.9 million
- Reginald Davis, Zynga’s General Counsel, sold 315,000 shares for $3.8 million