Last October Zao Yang walked away from an eight-figure restricted-stock package at Zynga, the social gaming company, to try to crack an intractable problem: helping small companies retain talented employees. Yang had created gaming software, including FarmVille, which Zynga bought in 2009, turning founder Mark Pincus into a paper billionaire.
“I have a chip on my shoulder,” says Yang, 28. “I wanted to partner with people who wanted to go for the big one. I want to hit it.”