Zynga CEO Mark Pincus sat down with PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy for an entertaining interview last night, covering a range of topics (startup failures, advice for Marissa Mayer and even news that he may open a new San Francisco incubator space).
But our favorite portion of the interview was Pincus relaying the advice he received from Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. According to Pincus, Bezos said that it becomes increasingly challenging for companies to retain their entrepreneurial edge after growing beyond 400 employees.
Pincus recalled what he dubbed some of the most important advice he’s received:
“The first time he ever gave me advice we were probably around 300 or 400 people,” says Pincus. “He said: ‘Remember this time. Remember the kind of people you have, remember the way they were ‘entrepreneuring’ because it’s going to be really hard for you to preserve that. After you pass 300 or 400 people the rest of the people weren’t going to be there when you created the product or opportunity.’”
Now, what’s even more interesting to us is that Pincus and Bezos stopped communicating about a year ago. Pincus tells Lacy that there was no fight or falling out.
So, why did the communication lines get cut?
That’s a good question and there’s certainly room for speculation. Interestingly, Amazon.com has been making some big moves into the gaming business as of late.
A report out earlier this month suggested that Amazon.com was planning to establish its own social gaming studio in Zynga’s backyard of San Francisco. It also recently unveiled a new tool for Kindle Fire, dubbed GameCircle.
Are Zynga and Amazon on a collision course?
Possibly, but it seems like Amazon — as ambitious as it is these days — is on a collision course with everyone.