After founding the push news service Freeloader and the social network Tribe Networks, Pincus took social media into gaming. While big studios were pushing massive, expensive console games, Pincus targeted “casual” users with simple, easy-to-play games, and won big. Pincus popularized a completely new genre, and now EA, the world’s largest game publisher, is forced to play catch-up.
Pincus did it his way, not caring what anyone thought of him. He called his Harvard ethics class “bull****,” bullied stock options back from his employees and admitted to distributing spyware to pump his numbers.
Why He’s a Geek: Built a social network when Zuckerberg was still in high school. Knew Farmville would be bigger than Halo.
Why We Envy Him: He sounds like a total jerk, and we’d hate to work for him, but he has a bit of a Scarface thing going on, fighting colds with booze, cutting deals with Vegas casinos and working a design aesthetic tacky enough to belong to one of his MafiaWars Dons. Also, Conan the Barbarian called about that flyover video. He wants his theme song back.