NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I've always played by what I realize can be an annoying set of rules.
I expect a lot from others. I will not hesitate to go after somebody when I think they're crooked, full of it, whatever.
But, No. 1: I leave it all on the ice. Like hockey players, I will drink beer with you after we tear one another apart in the spirit of competition. And No. 2: I am even harder on myself.
I don't get up at four in the morning everyday to lose.
So, while in an article such as
, the gloves come off, I am the first to do what the writer who called
a $15 stock should do: Admit I was wrong.
, I was wrong.
I got duped when I included the stock in a trio of new media stocks I see dominating long term. The jury is no longer out. Zynga does not belong in the same company as Facebook or
Over the summer,
In Friday's video, above, you see Deb reporting on what really might be the thing we remember as "Game Over" for the company.
You can be hard on yourself, but you also need to moderate that with some love. On October 24 of this year, I wrote
, where I called for Facebook to terminate Zynga from the face of the Earth.
Zuckerberg started the process on Facebook's last conference when he made it a point to note that gaming remains strong on the social network; the only weak link at that point was Zynga. In fact, Zuck told us that while revenue from Zynga was down 20%, it was up by 40% across all of Facebook's other gaming platforms.
That's not how you treat a partner and friend.
Now, Deb Borchardt tells us, it's all over. And she's right. Zuckerberg put the final nail in Zynga's coffin. Call the cops, but forgo a trial. No jury will convict Zuckerberg of premeditated murder on Zynga's cold, dead corpse.
Here's what happened at Zynga. And here's where things get dicey.
Like Zuckerberg at Facebook, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has "too much" power. And, worse than that, lots of people don't like him. That's never a good mix.
Consider the source, but I talked to a guy who works for
the other day. I asked him what he thought about the recent happenings at Zynga. He said, paraphrasing a tad,
Well, what do you expect? You can't run around blatantly stealing what everybody else does and expect it to not come back and bite you
If only EA guys were running around saying these types of things, I would be more skeptical of the comment. But, it's really a prevailing thought. Takes a simple
search to figure that much out.
Pincus has no business being CEO of any company, let alone a big one that is publicly traded. He's socially awkward. Just a horrendous public speaker. But he's a great visionary. When you hear him speak, you can tell -- he is one of those amazingly bright and cerebral people.
Pincus is what I miss about college! There's nothing better than killing half a day talking to a guy like that. The conversations stimulate big time. However, you give Pincus too much power and this is what happens -- an implosion of epic proportions.
He doesn't have that way with people like Steve Jobs did. He's not genuine like people say Tim Cook is. And he lacks that boyish smile and authentic enthusiasm of Zuckerberg.
Even though he's filthy rich and owns a San Francisco home I would cut my pinky finger off for, I feel bad for Pincus.
Evelyn Rusli of
wrote a must-read article a couple weeks back going behind the scenes of Pincus's struggles. She humanized the guy. Rusli reports that Pincus was near tears when meeting with a prominent Silicon Valley CEO coach. I believe it.
No matter how badly Pincus screwed things up at Zynga, the last several months must be tearing his heart out. Your stock implodes. Most of your management team leaves you stranded. The media trashes you. Facebook, for all intents and purposes, abandons you. And to keep the rank-and-file happy, you have to reprice options on your sub-$5 stock.
That said, Pincus never learned the lesson of swallowing pride, showing some humility and recognizing your weakness. Without much legitimate oversight at Zynga, there's nobody around to make him step down at CEO and hand the gig over to somebody who actually knows how to do it. Pincus would be much better off as the brains behind the brawn.
After Facebook's recent moves, however, it might be a little too late.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
Rocco Pendola is
Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to
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