You’d have to go a very long way to find someone who hasn’t heard of FarmVille – Zynga’s ubiquitous, free-to-play, farming sim made the studio one of the fastest growing software development companies of all-time, laying waste to millions of Facebook user’s free time in the process. Now, Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus is taking a break from the pixellated pastures that made his name, and going back to his roots.
Despite announcing that he would be taking a more hands-off approach at the company a few months ago, the software guru is now gearing up to launch his new app development studio. Mark’s latest venture goes by the name Superlabs, described by the man himself as a “product studio” and “incubator” dedicated to delivering mobile apps to consumers.
Despite maintaining his position as Zynga’s chairman, the beleaguered exec refused to comment on the software giant’s much-publicised fall from grace, which culminated in Mr Pincus handing over the reins to former Microsoft executive Don Mattrick last year, following tumbling share prices and poor annual performance.
Mr Pincus is hoping his latest venture will be met with more success, saying it is his ambition to follow in the footstep’s of mobile app developers like Uber, whose mobile taxi app service can be found on the home screens of millions of phone and tablet users all over the globe.
“There’s so many interesting applications out there, yet for me, there’s still very small number of apps that are fundamental for my day and my week,” he said. “Even if you’re a big huge company, or a scrappy entrepreneur, you still have to build a product that resonates with people.”
Superlabs will run like an “accelerator” he claims, becoming a place tech start-ups and budding software developments companies can turn to help guide them in the early stages of development. The project will act as kind of think-tank, with Pincus cherry-picking the best ideas before nurturing and developing them for widespread, commercial use.
“I’ll hope to have products in the market in the next year, but it might take four or five years to build anything to have a new breakthrough,” he said.