Pincus Might Have Been a Dick, But That Was Not His Perception

By Andrew James , written on July 19, 2012

From The News Desk

Mark Pincus joins us tonight at PandoMonthly in San Francisco. He's gone straight for the throat with the media attention his company has acquired regarding the treatment of his employees. “A lot of the best things about the company get reported as bad things,” says Pincus.

“It could be true, but it's not my perception,” says Zynga founder Mark Pincus of the way the media describes him. In contrast, the social gaming founder makes an effort to respond to every email he receives from employees. As well, they host a company-wide Q&A where Pincus makes an effort to answer all questions his employees may have.

“I ask everyone in the company to anonymously contribute any question; What’s bothering you, etcetera... I read all of it, and my team does. So people write novels, because they know I’m reading it,” says Pincus, "I read these because it’s reinforcing that moral contract. If you’re 10 people in a company or a 1000, you’ve got to make everyone feel like a founder."

After discovering this openness about, it was reported that things has become so bad at Zynga that Pincus himself was responding to all the complaints, but Pincus says, "I want our company to be totally transparent."

"Look, I can’t explain why people that I don’t know well have strong opinions about me. It’s very difficult; I don’t know if anyone can. I can tell you that I’ve worked with the same people for 15 years. I can tell you that I’ve built lifelong relationships with the people that I’ve worked with,” says Pincus.

“I think that the people that work closely with me and know me well... I feel like as an entrepreneur we have this great opportunity to have a moral contract with the people around us, whether it’s the 1st employee or number 3501, I say to every employee that I have values on the wall. You can challenge or change them, but we’re going to live up to every value that’s on those walls.”

“The same people that started with me in 96, 97, 98  came back and worked with me and brought more people with them."

We’re here at Madrone Studios with Mark Pincus, and you can watch a livestream of the event right here.