Posted by Willy Franzen on September 3, 2008. Jobs updated daily.
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We haven’t been able to find any hard statistics to back it up, but we’re pretty sure that a lot of people use their dog’s name for their passwords. Just look at Paris Hilton, whose cell phone supposedly got hacked because someone was able to find her dog’s name on her MySpace page. That story has since been discredited, but it can be a fable for the 21st century. Instead of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” we will tell our kids “The Girl Who Used Her Dog’s Name As Her Password.” So, if you’re trying to guess someone’s password (which you shouldn’t be), their dog’s name is a great first guess. If you don’t know their dog’s name, guess “Max.” Apparently 1% (which is a lot) of dogs in the U.S. share that name. Marc Pincus really blew it when he decided to name is social gaming network startup after his dog. Nobody would have ever guessed Zynga – he wasted a great password.
Now that you know why Zynga has its name, we should probably talk about what Zynga does. They claim to be the “#1 social gaming company on the web.” Social gaming isn’t really a new concept, but it seems like it is. If you can remember, games used to be played in-person with cards and boards. You and your family or friends would sit around a table, play a game, and have a good time. For a while the social aspect of gaming disappeared as personal gaming devices became all the rage. GameBoy, GameGear, computer games, and even many of the consoles focused on a single player experience. The Internet has gradually been bringing the social nature back through online multi-player gaming, but for a long time it seemed like it was easier to play against strangers than your own friends. Now that companies like Zynga are leveraging social networks (Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, and meebo), you can play casino games (Texas Hold ‘Em is their biggest hit), word games, board games, role playing games and party games with your friends while you’re both working at your first entry-level job. We can be sure that Zynga won’t frown on that practice, although your friend’s boss might.
Zynga’s gaming network has 18 million players and 55 million registered users. That’s a lot of people to show ads to, and that’s what Zynga is doing. That’s why they’re already breaking even without having laid a finger on their venture capital yet. They’ve already raised a total of $39 million in VC funding and have swelled to 80 employees. You can bet that number is going to grow as they start to dip into their funding to develop games that are better suited to withstand competition from video gaming behemoths like Electronic Arts. They’ve already swiped EA’s former Chief Creative Officer, Bing Gordon.
So how can you join Zynga’s team? Take a look at their Jobs page and find an opportunity that is right for you. Currently they have a number of jobs that might be well suited to new college graduates. These include Accounting Coordinator, Application Developer, 2D Graphic Designer, UI Web / Game Designer, Flash Developer, Web Developer, and Online Ad Sales Rep. Most of these job descriptions say that the jobs require slightly more experience than a typical entry-level candidate may have, but we think that if you knock their socks off by sending a standout cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org, they’ll at least give you a look. Maybe instead of a job interview, they’ll challenge you to a game over Facebook – if you win, you get the job. You can add Zynga to the list of companies that do a crappy job of telling you where they’re located, so we did some Googling to determine that they’re based in San Francisco, CA.
Links to Help You Begin Your Research
Don’t even ask in the comments, I’m not going to tell you what my dog’s name was.
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