Zynga is expected to begin the process of going public today. The 1,700-person company could be valued as high as $20 billion, putting it on par with the combined market capitalization of Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard.
Zynga's IPO is another example of the fervent investor appetite for tech companies. But it's also a symbol of the competitive and growing video game industry. Once dominated by console games makers like Electronic Arts, the industry is now contending with upstarts like Zynga that create games for Facebook and Rovio, which makes games for mobile phone users.
It's not just a war for customers, but for talent. In April, for instance, Zynga poached an EA executive to become its chief operating officer.
The gaming market isn't confined to hardcore gamers anymore. When anyone can play almost anywhere, it means that we're all gamers now. The industry's going to need a lot of engineers and developers to satiate that large of a user base. (WSJ)
Biz Leaves Twitter (FINS via WSJ)
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is leaving his full-time job at Twitter to work on Obvious, the start-up founded by Evan Williams. The two will work on the still-mysterious project together.
Myspace Layoffs (FINS via WSJ)
News Corp. is close to selling off moribund social networking site Myspace. The deal would require the company to lay off more than half of its 500-member staff.
Hadoop Spins Off (Bits)
Yahoo is creating a new company to develop Hadoop software. The company, called Hortonworks, will employ up to 30 current Yahoo engineers and will make money off of the open-source software by selling its expertise in the data-analysis software.
Clean Tech Pays Off (Venture Beat)
Google has crunched the numbers and says that big investment in clean tech would create 1.1 million jobs by 2030 and reduce greenhouse gases by 13%.
Google Goes Social (NYT)
Try, try again. Having failed in previous attempts to create a popular social networking tool, Google has launched Google+, an as-of-now invite-only social site. It looks just like Facebook.
Flipboard Hiring (FINS)
Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup Flipboard will hire as many as 25 new employees this year after raising $50 million in new financing in April.
Perks Combat Poaching (FINS)
Companies are rolling out the free massages and laundry service to keep their employees from jumping ship when competitors come calling.
Buzz Around the Office
Balloon Explosion (YouTube)
List of the Day: Four Ways for Parents to Help a Recent Grad
1. Keep them on your insurance.
2. Fund their Roth IRA.
3. Help them get a "secured credit card."
4. Provide an old-fashioned loan.
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