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(Gamasutra)   Zynga well on its way to winning this years' Classiest Company Award, lays off 100 people and closes studio during Apple press conference   (gamasutra.com ) divider line
    More: Asinine, Zynga, Gamasutra, press conference, quality assurance, layoffs, resource allocation  
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3446 clicks; posted to Business » on 23 Oct 2012 at 11:30 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



43 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2012-10-23 05:28:32 PM  
There's something sacrosanct about an Apple press conference?
 
2012-10-23 05:32:09 PM  
For some reason I always thought that Zynga were Russian, so I avoided anything they did like the plague, since everthing Russian wants to kill me or steal my money.
 
2012-10-23 05:43:20 PM  
F "Words With Friends".

Abble Dabble is the shiznit.
 
2012-10-23 05:47:05 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: There's something sacrosanct about an Apple press conference?


A significant portion of people who would notice this would be occupied by fawning over the new iThing before they really know what it is.
 
2012-10-23 05:52:11 PM  
it couldn't happen to a nicer company. I am sure they have some nice people that work there, but I am sure they are few and far between. That company is full of scum bags that only exist to screw over customers as often and for as much as possible. Screw Zynga and their ilk.
 
2012-10-23 08:26:20 PM  
They can't do that! They haven't killed consoles yet!
 
2012-10-23 08:52:19 PM  

GAT_00: BarkingUnicorn: There's something sacrosanct about an Apple press conference?

A significant portion of people who would notice this would be occupied by fawning over the new iThing before they really know what it is.


Well, this is the tech press equivalent of the late Friday afternoon news dump.
 
2012-10-23 09:03:18 PM  
yawn
 
2012-10-23 10:09:35 PM  
ZYNG!
 
2012-10-23 10:44:39 PM  
Good. The only people who might care, other than the former employees, were busy.

The less I hear about Zynga, the better.
 
2012-10-23 10:51:41 PM  

jake_lex: Well, this is the tech press equivalent of the late Friday afternoon news dump.


Which is when layoffs usually happen. Tuesday morning is 9/11-style.
 
2012-10-23 11:25:23 PM  
TUXEDO
 
2012-10-23 11:47:59 PM  

Slaxl: For some reason I always thought that Zynga were Russian, so I avoided anything they did like the plague, since everthing Russian wants to kill me or steal my money.


Their headquarters is in Mountain View, CA, coincidentally just down the street from Symantec's headquarters.

cannotsuggestaname: it couldn't happen to a nicer company. I am sure they have some nice people that work there, but I am sure they are few and far between. That company is full of scum bags that only exist to screw over customers as often and for as much as possible. Screw Zynga and their ilk.


There are a few websites that allow people to review companies they used to work for. I once looked at the reviews for Zynga, and they are almost universally negative. The only positive thing I've heard about them is that if you're a dog-lover, they allow employees to bring their dogs to the office.
 
2012-10-24 12:04:50 AM  
Man, they're trying way too hard to be like EA
 
2012-10-24 12:13:04 AM  
For some reason, I have some Don Henley through my mind.

Y'know, I remember a time when things were a lot more
Fun around here
When good was good, and evil was evil
Before things got so.........fuzzy
Yeah, I was once a golden boy like you
I was summoned to the halls of power in the heavenly court
And I dined with the deities who looked upon me with favor
For my talents; my creativity
We sat beneath the palms in the warm afternoons
And drank the wine with Fitzgerald and Huxley
They pawned a biting phrase
From tongues hot with blood
And drained their pens of bitter ink
Vainly reaching for the bottle full of empty Edens
Branded special for the ones
Who had come with great expectations
To the perfumed halls of Allah
For their time in the sun

The company was built on deception from the very beginning, it fueled their early days. They touched greatness for a while, but they've failed to innovate over time. A small, niche, privately held or closely held entity could maintain themselves, but when they went public they had to either innovate and diversify or start dying. I used to think of them as that one company that found enough revenue to sustain themselves over Facebook but I I'd consider them more penny stock than NASDAQ quality, given their history, business strategy and execution. Their profile is way too high for their revenues, and the market expects too much for what they do. I feel the same about a lot of these "social" companies.

OTOH, I don't buy stock from companies without a healthy dividend payout so I wouldn't think of buying Zynga in any event. I prefer cashflow to investors from earnings rather than relying on ever-increasing stock prices for capital gains. I still keep tabs on the social networking companies though because they are so high profile. Maybe one of these years they'll figure out how to ethically make decent profits before they go public.
 
2012-10-24 12:25:50 AM  
there stock is in the toliet.
 
2012-10-24 12:34:25 AM  

Uncle Eazy: Abble Dabble is the shiznit.


4.bp.blogspot.com

Get my lawyer on the phone!
 
2012-10-24 12:55:40 AM  

BolloxReader: I used to think of them as that one company that found enough revenue to sustain themselves over Facebook but I I'd consider them more penny stock than NASDAQ quality, given their history, business strategy and execution. Their profile is way too high for their revenues, and the market expects too much for what they do. I feel the same about a lot of these "social" companies.


A few years ago, I was looking at adding a few stocks to my (still rather small) investment portfolio. At one point, the financial planner I was working with asked me about the then-upcoming Zynga IPO (he knew that I was much more familiar with the tech sector than he was), and I pointed out the universally-negative things that former employees have to say about the company, and I said that was probably a good reason to stay away from their stock. As it turns out, I was right.

Now if only I could identify winning stocks as easily as I can identify losing stocks...
 
2012-10-24 12:55:56 AM  
wait....they had over 100 employees? At a branch office?
 
2012-10-24 02:15:39 AM  

anfrind: Now if only I could identify winning stocks as easily as I can identify losing stocks...


It ain't sexy, but this is probably the horse to ride as Baby Boomers have to go somewhere: FVE.

(Value of assets greatly surpass share price. Someone will realize and buy it.)
 
2012-10-24 06:21:21 AM  

anfrind: BolloxReader: I used to think of them as that one company that found enough revenue to sustain themselves over Facebook but I I'd consider them more penny stock than NASDAQ quality, given their history, business strategy and execution. Their profile is way too high for their revenues, and the market expects too much for what they do. I feel the same about a lot of these "social" companies.

A few years ago, I was looking at adding a few stocks to my (still rather small) investment portfolio. At one point, the financial planner I was working with asked me about the then-upcoming Zynga IPO (he knew that I was much more familiar with the tech sector than he was), and I pointed out the universally-negative things that former employees have to say about the company, and I said that was probably a good reason to stay away from their stock. As it turns out, I was right.

Now if only I could identify winning stocks as easily as I can identify losing stocks...


My investing philosophy has reluctantly turned to shorter term (maybe 6 months, a year) holdings of high dividend shares. They tend to be higher risk to hold for longer term, and I dump them as soon as they start showing any warning signs (like borrowing to maintain 18% dividends). Most of the companies are REITs or are temporarily pumping up dividends to inflate share price. I've been getting about a 15% return on small amounts of shares (maybe a couple hundred dollars of a particular stock) once all the fees are included. I typically eke out a small gain in the share price before I sell as well as the high dividends. I do all of this on Sharebuilder. Since I started driving over the road in January I liquidated everything in my IRA and I'm holding it in cash because I don't have time to actively manage my investments. I'm about to go to local driving which will have me home every night rather than three days a month, and then I'll be able to pay attention to my investments again.

But yeah to me a winning stock is one that doesn't take a dump as I prepare to sell it. If it just doesn't sink in value over the time I hold it, I still partake in the profits of the operation (such as they may be). Since something like 80% of trading takes place in dark pools, I don't consider stock price to be worth chasing. Folks like you and me typically don't get access to the trading info that really matters. My spatial stats professor hammered into us that if you can't account for at least 80% of a given variance, you have an insignificant understanding of the underlying factors. For typical retail traders like us, that 80% is obfuscated. Granted he was talking Baysian statistics involving pollution, crime and disease mapping but my time in the financial world led me to adopt similar criteria for long term investments.

There's too much money to invest in too few assets, causing bubble after bubble. Last time the bubble popped, it led to the recession. Now it's in Treasuries (effectively at negative returns once inflation is taken into consideration) and commodities-- both considered safe havens.

Once inflation starts ramping up (I am assuming we're gonna inflate our way out of at least some of the debt) I'll switch to a more speculative stance to catch the inevitable stock price increases. We could easily double the DJIA just through inflation over a couple year period (shorter if the Fed really wanted), and at that point my dividends will be paltry in comparison.

Everyone seems to have a different strategy though. I really should get an investment club going with some like-minded people so that I can get the info I need on more companies than I'm willing to dive into on my own.
 
2012-10-24 06:24:55 AM  
"Thank you for making me and a few investors rich. Now get the fark out. Happy Holidays!"
 
2012-10-24 06:53:09 AM  

Uncle Eazy: F "Words With Friends".

Abble Dabble is the shiznit.


I prefer WordFeud myself. It allows swear words to be played.
 
2012-10-24 06:56:37 AM  
And a layoff means you'll never be rehired! By anyone!
 
2012-10-24 07:13:39 AM  

BolloxReader: ...They touched greatness for a while, but they've failed to innovate over time...


The only time they touched greatness was when they bought, stole, or copied someone else's ideas. When they transitioned away from card games into that first big hit, Farmville? Knockoff of a Chinese game. And so it goes...
 
2012-10-24 07:19:25 AM  

HotIgneous Intruder: And a layoff means you'll never be rehired! By anyone!


oh dont be stupid. tech guys get laid off right and left. everyone knows its part of the industry and part of the reason why they get paid so damn much. theyll probably spend on average 1 month a year laid off (most of us change jobs every 2 years or so, with small gaps in between of a month or so, so you need lots of cash on hand.

its the ".com jump"; work as a developer, a product manager, or producer/project manager for a year or two, get head hunted, give yourself a 20k raise and a better title with a "Sr." in front of it, and keep going. you can do this for most of your 20s and 30s. Just dont work in graphic design or tech writing and youll be fine and be able to give yourself nice raises every few years, provided you can deal with the innate instability of the industry. If you want to have the same job for 10 years, going to work for .coms is probably not a good idea.
 
2012-10-24 08:32:05 AM  

anfrind: There are a few websites that allow people to review companies they used to work for. I once looked at the reviews for Zynga, and they are almost universally negative. The only positive thing I've heard about them is that if you're a dog-lover, they allow employees to bring their dogs to the office.


They should do what other companies do and write fake reviews for working for them. My old employer does that on glassdoor. It is pretty obvious which ones are fake, too. When the only negative is "There is too much fun stuff to do while working!" or "It's hard to meet new people in the company", then you know it is fake as a porn star's boobs.
 
2012-10-24 08:33:50 AM  

Father_Jack: HotIgneous Intruder: And a layoff means you'll never be rehired! By anyone!

oh dont be stupid. tech guys get laid off right and left. everyone knows its part of the industry and part of the reason why they get paid so damn much. theyll probably spend on average 1 month a year laid off (most of us change jobs every 2 years or so, with small gaps in between of a month or so, so you need lots of cash on hand.

its the ".com jump"; work as a developer, a product manager, or producer/project manager for a year or two, get head hunted, give yourself a 20k raise and a better title with a "Sr." in front of it, and keep going. you can do this for most of your 20s and 30s. Just dont work in graphic design or tech writing and youll be fine and be able to give yourself nice raises every few years, provided you can deal with the innate instability of the industry. If you want to have the same job for 10 years, going to work for .coms is probably not a good idea.


Yeah, when doing interviews and people find out that I've been at some companies for 5 years, they're amazed. Most people are at a job for only 2-3 years.
 
2012-10-24 09:36:13 AM  

mr lawson: wait....they had over 100 employees? At a branch office?


That is what I thought too. Apparently Zynga has (had?) over 3000 employees.
 
2012-10-24 10:06:59 AM  
Feel bad for innocent employees that were affected by this, but honestly, they should have avoided this company in the first place unless they were truly desperate for a job. I already spoke about my strong negative feelings about this company in another article about this shiatty company, so I won't be too much of a broken record.

Really hope that any decent person who still works for this company is sending out their resumes by now.
 
2012-10-24 10:16:23 AM  
hey guys how about that iPad mini huh? Or the new 13" macbook Pro with Retina?

I think you are focused on the wrong news items here.
 
2012-10-24 10:16:30 AM  
encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com

Bye-Zynga!
 
2012-10-24 10:18:57 AM  

Carth: mr lawson: wait....they had over 100 employees? At a branch office?

That is what I thought too. Apparently Zynga has (had?) over 3000 employees.


I think it's more a case of the studio having a game Bye-Zynga wants so they buy that studio where ever it is.
 
2012-10-24 10:34:50 AM  
The f*ck does an Apple press conference have to do with anything?
 
2012-10-24 10:45:48 AM  
So Zynga's working on a new game called Layoffville. Next game is Bankruptcyville.
 
2012-10-24 10:50:55 AM  

Choo-Choo Bear: anfrind: Now if only I could identify winning stocks as easily as I can identify losing stocks...

It ain't sexy, but this is probably the horse to ride as Baby Boomers have to go somewhere: FVE.

(Value of assets greatly surpass share price. Someone will realize and buy it.)


Which has already been featured on a number of "investment shows" like Jim Cramer in recent weeks. For that reason alone - I would stay away from it at this time.
 
2012-10-24 10:53:48 AM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: The f*ck does an Apple press conference have to do with anything?


The same reason politicians release bad news on Fridays. To bury it. The tech industry was focused on an Apple event so the company took advantage of it and moved on walking people out the door. And it appeared to largely worked.
 
2012-10-24 11:12:17 AM  
I never thought about it till just now, but back in 08-09 when everyone was laying people off, my company did it on the same day Obama was inaugurated. Seems like a logical thing to do to stay out of the news.
 
2012-10-24 01:43:12 PM  

starsrift: BolloxReader: ...They touched greatness for a while, but they've failed to innovate over time...

The only time they touched greatness was when they bought, stole, or copied someone else's ideas. When they transitioned away from card games into that first big hit, Farmville? Knockoff of a Chinese game. And so it goes...


Why is the knockoff thing such a big deal to people? Isn't almost all popular software based on someone else's ideas? I'm not saying Zynga is great or anything, it sounds like the management is douchey and arrogant, but why does everyone hate that they copy other people's ideas and latch them to Facebook as a user base?
 
2012-10-24 03:14:34 PM  

Codenamechaz: Man, they're trying way too hard to be like EA


It didn't help EA was suing their asses for blatantly ripping off their IP.

Which is probably part of the reason for the layoffs. EA's legal team are not people to be messed with.
 
2012-10-24 04:05:25 PM  
Apparently, those affected were given just two hours to pack up and leave their offices.

Why would it take two hours? I had to switch offices once, and I had all my shiat in a box in about three minutes.
 
rpm
2012-10-24 07:38:11 PM  

anfrind: Now if only I could identify winning stocks as easily as I can identify losing stocks...


Piece of cake. Pick all the losers. What's left in the list is the winners.
 
2012-10-25 12:06:41 AM  

rpm: anfrind: Now if only I could identify winning stocks as easily as I can identify losing stocks...

Piece of cake. Pick all the losers. What's left in the list is the winners.


Not necessarily. Sometimes they just endure without growing or shrinking, and is thus only a good investment if it pays good dividends.
 
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