The Truth About Getting Acquired By Zynga

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Photo: Zach Dischner via Flickr

Zynga has acquired around 10 companies to date.We spoke to a top executive of one of those companies about what that process was like, and about this executive’s impressions of Zynga have been since the acquisition.

To keep the conversation candid, we agreed to not to use the founder’s name in this story.

Business Insider: What was the deal process like?

Anonymous Executive: It was a good experience. Obviously acquisitions are tough, especially if you’re the founder of a company. You feel a little like you’re divorced. You’re ending a relationship with this company you started and then you’re starting with a new company. It was a good experience. Zynga was able to move really quickly. We had other people interested. They were able to move quickly and offer the same price point, which was really good.

BI: What was the integration like?

AE: They bought the company and we didn’t even take a day off.

BI: What’s Zynga’s work culture like? Do you like it?

AE: They move really fast and they’re good at executing, but they just kind of throw bodies at problems. Not thought. It’s successful. I’m not criticising the strategy. For people who like to have ownership, sometimes it can be a serious headache. [They’re just say], “This game isn’t working? Hire 20 more people.” [It’s like,] maybe we should fix the game dynamics?

BI: What insight have you gained into how Zynga works that you didn’t have before?

AE: They’re really ruthless with cutting things that don’t work. If a game doesn’t work, they kill it. They’ll throw those resources somewhere else. I definitely get that.

They have “move at Zynga speed” written all over the walls. I think everyone’s hustling. They don’t always know where they’re going but they’re going fast. I think it’s one of the reasons that they’re ahead of other people. They got that early lead and starting acquiring as many users as possible and cross-promoting. They’ve got one or two things right and they’re focused on that. I think a lot of companies do that.

They’re not worried about the margins. If they can buy a user on a Facebook ad for a dollar and the user nets me a dollar and three cents, even, then I’ll keep buying users until that’s positive. Zynga is making way more money than anybody, but they’re also spending more money than anybody.

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