We’re here in San Francisco tonight for a PandoMonthly fireside chat between Sarah Lacy and Mark Pincus. Right off the bat, we’re into some controversial territory, focusing on the perception that Pincus is a harsh leader.
Pincus responded by stating that the perception is due to the speed at which the company scaled. As he says it, the company “grew to 3,000 people faster than any other company in the history of the Valley, so we went through the growing pains quicker.”
In practice, the quick scaling presents a few issues for any company. “You might have a VP of Marketing who was doing a fine job when you were a 150 person company,” but when the company has 500 people and dozens of products, it’s a “different job.”
While it may seem unfair to the employees that joined Pincus in the very early days, according to Pincus, he made it clear from the very beginning that the company would scale quickly and that they would have to keep up.
Essentially, Zynga doesn’t seem to be an anomaly according to Pincus’ account, it just seems to have gone through the traditional problems that startups go through, at an accelerated rate. And that makes the cries in the press of Zynga being a horrible company all the more hyperbolic.