A lot of the values and the culture come from me. Because I am invested in this. And I ask everyone who comes here to put their own footprint on this, their own fingerprint and mine are for sure here to.
I have a strong sense of democracy and fairness and so we work really hard to be an extreme meritocracy. I don’t believe in the clubs of Silicon Valley. I don’t believe in like the founders circle or the sense that you should have been employee 1 through 100. Everyone who walks in has the same opportunity to be a huge leader and to be compensated for being a great entrepreneur. And we work really had to be a really flat organization.
Q: Zynga still makes a lot of its revenue through Facebook. Should this worry people, and is it going to change?
A: It has been hugely positive for us, for Facebook and for both of our consumers. Facebook has been an incredible catalyst, an accelerator, of social gaming and of other industries. And we are appreciative of that and we think that we helped see a significant catalyst for engagement on their own platform, and now on iPhone as well.
But with that will come interdependency. We've seen that in other industries. Cable TV, you know you've got HBO owned by Time Warner it’s served up by AT&T or Comcast who are often direct competitors with each other. But they all collaborate for the benefit of the end consumer.
Q: But you also launched your own platform. So it seems like you’re also interested in making Zynga its own platform and its own brand so it’s not just the company that makes games for Facebook.
A: It’s important for us to have a direct branded relationship with our consumers. We created Zynga.com because we wanted to offer a dedicated destination for social gaming. It’s something that is all about social gaming only and can go beyond what we can do on other platforms. But it leverages the best of what we get with Facebook.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: The biggest source of fun and use of my time outside of work is my girls, my daughters. They are definitely teaching me to enjoy a lot of the simpler things in life. Like my one daughter, she is now obsessed with swimming and going underwater, to the point where she sleeps in her bathing suit. I was just kind of rediscovering things through them. Outside of that, I have developed an addiction to surfing. I can’t say I'm very good at it but I'm trying a lot and it’s fun. There’s a surfing community even inside Zynga, so I've gotten to know people inside Zynga at different levels through surfing.
I love soccer but — I don’t know. Maybe I'm feeling my age, but after I haven’t played in six months I went out to play a game for Zynga against Twitter. Twitter’s CEO is a really good soccer player and he didn’t even make it to the game, so I was proud that I was the only CEO that showed up. But after about 10 minutes I tore my calf. So that limited my soccer and cycling careers for a little while.