Jul 16, 2013 · 3 minutes

Two weeks ago, Andrew Mason shook the startup and music worlds to their cores by releasing what's probably the first-ever "business rock" album: "Hardly Workin.'" On the surface, it was a rather bland recitation of personal development cliches, like the ones you might see on inspirational posters at cubicle farms. But dig deeper and the record reveals fascinating glimpses into the psyche of an ousted CEO whose sense of self-importance perhaps outweighs his company's ambitions (daily deals aren't exactly changing the world).

There's a clear analogue here to Mark Pincus, whose social games company Zynga (again, not exactly world-changing) is often lumped in with Groupon in the discussion over recent web IPOs that fell flat. Pincus also just left his post as CEO (though he is staying on as Chief Product Officer) and we at Explainer Music couldn't help imagining what it would sound like if Pincus recorded his own "business rock" album (replete with cheesy lyric videos) in the wake of his job change. Okay, so it's only a three-song EP. But hey, Pincus is still employed and doesn't have time for a full-length.

Is it the album you want? Probably not. But if you've ever spammed your Facebook friends with Farmville or Mafia Wars invites, it's the album you deserve:


Track 1: The Game of Business

Track 2: I Dream to Disrupt

Track 3: Hacker Blues


The Game of Business

Verse 1:

It's hard to be a company leader

When you have to sit back and watch your company teeter

Our initial public offering was a bust in a half

We had to lay off one-fifth of our staff

But when the sun goes down on Farmville

You know I'll still be there


Because the power that lies in the heart of a founder

Will never ever die no it will never flounder

I know it's been hard but I hope you'll still play with me

Play the game of business with me

Verse 2:

Hockey stick growth can be a lot of fun

But when that hockey stick turns upside down you better not run

Stick with your vision, listen to your users

These are the things that separate winners and losers

When the going gets tough, you gotta be tough enough

But to win the game of business, it also takes a little love


I Dream to Disrupt

I've never been in the Mafia, I've never been a farmer

I've never been a chef, or entered battle wearing armor

I've never built a city, I've never been to Vegas

I've never been an artist, no I never had the patience

But as a hacker you can do this and more

Lead an empire to victory, start a mafia war

The memories you can make without leaving a Facebook page

You can have the adventure of a lifetime while on a coffee break

This was my dream

It wasn't real

But in my hacker's heart of hearts

It was possible to see

That all my dreams

Could be real

If I believed in something more than luck

I dream to disrupt

Hacker Blues Darkness falls on me

The things they say about me

I push too hard on employees

But all I want's a meritocracy

Gave all I had to my troops

Gourmet meals and basketball hoops

I even gave their pets health insurance

But they had to earn it

They said I committed the ultimate crime

They said I didn't treat my users right

When they wanted more turnips for their turnip patch

I made them click on scams and credit card ads

Why'd I do that?

Now the people's farms are much less lush

They've left me for Angry Birds and Candy Crush

The Mafioso's given up his wars

No one even draws anything anymore

Just draw something, draw anything for me

I never thought social games could make me feel so empty

My employees are gone, my users feel used

How come no one's figured out a way to hack the blues?

I'll hack the pain away, I'll make a new game

Where I play the part of founder, Pincusville is its name

Plant seeds of disruption and reap what you sow

But don't lose track of the balance sheet etched upon your soul

I'm no longer top dog

But the founder I'll always be

And no matter what happens

They'll never take that away from me

[Music and videos by Andrew Bean, David Holmes, and Sharon Shattuck]