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Inspiring Stories

Fantastic Friday: OMGPOP Edition

For all the backlash that corporations get these days, there really are times when one has to tip their cap and be pleasantly surprised by a positive story, such as the one that was recently revealed about OMGPOP.

First of all, it was only a few months ago that OMGPOP was about to go under.  The CEO, Dan Porter, had to make a tough decision to lay off his developers in order to just get more runway to extend the life of the company.  And in that extended time, OMGPOP developed a hit mobile app, Draw Something, which resulted in 35 million downloads in 6 weeks….crazy stuff.

Then Zynga came calling and offered to buy OMGPOP for a cool $210M.  Quite the turnaround and reward for perseverance.

But the best part of the story?

Those laid off developers were hired back.  Not after the acquisition was made so the CEO could pocket his winnings…but before it, so he could share them.

As described by Business Insider:

OMGPOP was not getting traction on Facebook, but it still had a bunch of flash developers.

Porter could have moved them around to mobile or other projects but money was running tight. To extend the company’s runway, he had to let them go.

This move bought OMGPOP another month or two of runway. It was purely a financial decision and a really tough one. The company tried to find jobs for the people who were fired.

Once Draw Something took off and it looked like we might do a deal, CEO Dan Porter hired the fired workers back ASAP.

He was literally negotiating the deal and jamming the re-hires back into payroll to make sure they were covered with hours remaining in the close.  Their options kept vesting and they benefitted from the sale.

Porter didn’t have to do it. It was just the mensch thing to do.

There was one guy who used to work for OMGPOP who was facing a deadline on whether or not to exercises his options. He couldn’t decide, and Porter didn’t want him to lose out, so he hired him as a contractor to extend his vesting as well. He made money too.

Every single employee got something from the deal, even new employees who hadn’t reached their cliff. Porter made sure it happened.

Have a Fantastic Friday everyone!



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