) is a maker of socially interactive games. The company's games
can be played on mobile devices, on Zynga's website, or on a
social media website, e.g., Facebook (
). Zynga went public in 2012, and many pundits trumpeted ZNGA
stock as a less expensive way of getting on the same growth train
as FB stock, Facebook having gone public earlier that year, but
it wasn't long before the trumpets were playing a very different
ZNGA stock has essentially been playing Limbo since this time
last year. The company got a new CEO in late 2013 and acquired
rival NaturalMotion in February, which drove the share price
higher for a time, but that rally has now definitively petered
out. Zynga's first quarter 2014 earnings report showed rapidly
declining revenue and a loss of $0.07 per share as opposed to a
profit of $0.01 in the year-ago quarter. The question today is
not "will Zynga rally," but "will Zynga survive?" I'll not give
an answer to that question, though perhaps a highly discerning
reader might divine what my answer would be.
I did play a Zynga game once, and while it wasn't the one you
are probably thinking of, it might as well have been. Meaning
what, you ask? Well, when you play a Zynga game, you go through
several specific, easily delineated phases, which I have outlined
You've heard about this thing. People you know are doing it. It's
a free install. So you take look. You install the program, which
immediately rewards you by allowing you to do incredibly simple
things which increase… well, it doesn't matter.
So many options! Is all of this really necessary? What just
happened? Why won't they let you just increase your… well, it
Ha! You're off to the races now! You know what things to do, what
order to do them in, and even how to change the pattern up once
you reach the next… well, it doesn't matter.
Wow, the spaces in between each advancement just get bigger,
you've really got to commit a lot of time to keep advancing. So
Moment of Clarity:
It just hit you that the hours you invested in making
have a necessary return on investment of
. If you had the hours back, you could use them to get an online
degree or two. Not. A. Joke.
Now that you've purged your life of this kind of thing, you can't
believe anyone would annoy you with a request for help to build
out his… well, it doesn't matter.
You've forgiven everyone who sends you those requests. They are
still stuck in the Matrix, but you are the chosen one. You feel
sad for them.
It's been years now, and you can't feel sad for people forever.
Are people really still doing this? It defies comprehension!
Fiddling around with your Facebook settings:
At some point you'll be tempted to try this in order to make the
requests go away. It will work, or not, depending entirely on
Facebook's whim, and the nature of whatever psychological
experiment they are currently running on you.
There's no more pain, or there is, it just doesn't matter. You're
beyond all that. You are stoic, and ready for whatever comes
next. Perhaps there is still one thing that
rile you up, however, and that's when, sometime in the future,
you discover that Zynga has ceased to exist, just when you
figured out how to coexist with it.
has been a business writer since the first day of the
twenty-first century, having written for PRA
International and the United Nations Department of
Peacekeeping. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993
and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary
Baldwin College in 2011. He became a stockbroker in 1993,
but now works for Fresh Brewed Media and uses his powers
only for good. You can see closing trades for all
Julian's long and short positions and track his long term
performance via twitter:
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