Tonight at the PandoMonthly fireside chat with Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, Pincus shared his philosophy on how to deal with criticism from the outside.
For those that don’t know, Zynga has been the subject of intense criticism in the few years the company has been around. Ranging from criticism of stock options, to Pincus’ management techniques, to even the basic business strategy behind Zynga.
Of course, to build a controversial company that’s worth over $3 billion, you need to have thick skin, which as Pincus has clearly displayed tonight, he has in abundance.
Pincus shared a few tidbits with us tonight on how he approaches this criticism, and it can be summed up by the simple statement that, “If you’re worried whether or not you’ll look stupid, you’re not going to take enough risks.”
This is a pretty good philosophy to have when leading a company through intense criticism, especially when competitors don’t understand you, investors don’t understand you, the public doesn’t understand you, and finally, investors don’t understand you. Or as Pincus described it, “I definitely think that I’ve been called stupid at every point while building the company by the outside world.”
As Pincus said, “We can’t be looking for our self-worth from our industry or our peers or publications, because if you’re doing something innovative and something you believe in that no one else does, how can you not be called stupid? If you’re doing something different from everyone else, of course it’s going to seem stupid.”
Ain’t that the truth.
We’re here at Madrone Studios with Mark Pincus, and you can watch a livestream of the event right here.