Quick and Frequent Product Testing and Assessment

Mark Pincus, Zynga
In conversation with: Bing Gordon, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Mark Pincus, CEO and Founder of gaming company Zynga, encourages fast and frequent new ideas for video game development. But rather than putting forth tremendous resources to build out each idea, they company first tests its viability with a round of “ghetto testing” – five words that will be used to market the game, posted to the website live for five minutes. If sufficient audience interest is measured, then a one-week rollout of the first version of the game is revealed to just one percent of the Zynga audience for play and feedback, almost always with some modicum of “golden mechanics” – or viral, retentive quality – built in. If these early efforts prove successful, the game grows more robust with each successive build. Pincus reports that the company is always testing several hundred products simultaneously, and that measuring this success has never been easier or more affordable.