Zynga CEO Mark Pincus got lobbed some softballs this morning at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference by his investors at Kleiner Perkins: Bing Gordon (who is on the Zynga board) and John Doerr. However, he did give up some specific metrics about how his very metrics-driven company runs, and he talked about the larger themes at stake.
Pincus said three-and-a-half-year-old Zynga has 215 million monthly active users, 33 million of which played its games yesterday. The company has a staff of 1,200, half of them engineers, with 13 games studios in eight locations. It has 20,000 servers not including its heavy use of Amazon Web Services, with 1,000 added per week (more detail on that here).
Pincus projected that the rest of the web will come to look a lot more like Zynga, with advertising only be a small portion of revenue. “As big as ads are, I think what I call the user-pay economy will be much bigger than the advertising economy.” The web should continue to become more app-like, with categories like travel, shopping and health starting to look a lot more like gaming does today.
Zynga is known for making decisions about its product based on metrics, but that also extends to the way Pincus runs the company. He said that every employee at Zynga is treated as a CEO, with goals and metrics they are graded on using the concept of OKRs: one objective and three key results. The company measures its success using its Net Promoter Score (the measure of how likely users say they are to recommend a service) and aggregating daily survey data of customers taken after they go through support.
“We are data junkies,” said Pincus. “We measure everything. We’ve invested incredibly in data warehousing. We capture and track every click in every game every day.”
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