When I met with Zynga founder Mark Pincus in March 2012, he was candid enough to admit that like many of the big web giants, he was still trying to figure out the mobile quandary, which he determined was a whole new beast. Fast forward to today and despite its splashy $200 million acquisition of Draw Something parent, OMGPOP, Zynga is still struggling to unlock the mobile mystery. Or at least that is the impression I got after reading this story in The Wall Street Journal.
“We’re going to try different things..I’m not saying everything we do is a home run. “I always tell people if they say, ‘Oh, there’s a Web division, there’s a mobile division.’ I’m like, ‘No. There’s one division’,..”That division is called Zynga.” [David Ko tells the Wall Street Journal.]
The recent actions undertaken by Zynga such as having chief mobile officer David Ko reporting to CEO Pincus are just papering over the big issue: when you are a web native company and web-based metrics define your decisions and business model, it is hard to think of mobile. Mobile is an entirely different user behavior. Good news: Pincus knows that and unlike others, is not in denial about his company’s mobile challenge.