Friday, March 14, 2008

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New World Newsfeed: My First Thoughts on Philip Linden Leaving As Second Life's CEO

Interviewing_philip_linden_for_giga Recent dispatches from the outside world...

Second Life’s Second Phase - GigaOM

The Burning Man era of Second Life is over... [Philip] founded the startup in 1999... [and p]erhaps just as significantly, that was also the year he made a trip to the famed temporary arts community in the Black Rock desert. In my view, that visit contributed significantly to SL’s phenomenal success under his management — and to many of its setbacks.

My initial take, at least.  Read the rest here.  And do offer your own thoughts in this Open Forum.

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Mark Brown

It takes guts for a founding visionary entrepreneur to step aside and hand the reigns over to another. Ultimately the vision has to be more important than any individual, even the source of that vision. Of course the key now is getting just the right CEO. As a CEO myself (and no I won't be putting my hand up!) my advice is to find someone who is not so much a visionary as a strategist. More of an organizational and strategic technician. The key to scaling an organization is in the deployment of resources: in particular creating the right environment and structures ready to meet the planned growth. So for me, I.T expertise is minor to this, what they need is a first class strategist.

http://brownblog.info/

Renmiri

They say on Reuters that he is retiring in good time, with SL going down, but it just broke another record:

65,285 online residents at the same time, as of March 16 :)

Just saw it on my SL home where I have a traffic meter (picture link above).

Ann Otoole

Once you make to CEO there is only one way up. To the board.

Once you have served on a board for a while the next step up is to serve on multiple boards.

To those that like Phil's visionary personality and fortitude to push the envelope I ask: Would it be a bad thing for Phil to influence multiple companies?

An executive shelf life is generally 5 years. After 5 years you move on or your value begins to drop. If you cannot do something great in 5 years then who wants to hire you to lead them?

This is a logical and well earned transition.

However, Phil leaves immense challenges for his successor and some degree of culture change will be required.

People participating in jira struggle through a learning curve to be there. They are people who are seriously interested in the health and welfare of Secondlife. They should be listened to.

just limiting the observation to jira entries with more than 300 votes we have:

Problems with Groups...
1052 votes for MISC-208 - More than 25 groups!
365 votes for MISC-64 - Allow group IMs to be muted

LL has stated they will not work on groups for the foreseeable future because they don't even comprehend how it works.

Intellectual Property Protection...
899 votes for SVC-676 - Stopping texture theft and stop spreading of stolen items

LL has taken the position that nothing can be done about this problem so file a DMCA. Yet LL fails to delete the stolen content from the asset system. (liability lurking here?)

Phil stated, along with the memorable mantra of "The code is God, The Code is Law", that LL will never rewrite the product. Ok so he can't go back on what *he* said without losing face. Perhaps the new CEO will immediately call a halt to "shinies" development and bring in real professionals to analyze and document the architecture, DDL, and code, form a clean room team of real professional software, network, and database engineers and managers, and conduct the requisite total ground up architecture and code for SL V2.

Either LL does it or someone else will.

Lead or get out of the way. SL is the leader and LL needs to make sure it stays that way. Or throws hands into the air and say they are not interested so those of us that bet on this thing can make our plans to pull out and let SL die.

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