New World Newsfeed: Philip Rosedale Ends Full-Time Linden Role To Start New SL-Centric Company (I Have 2 Theories)
A year after ceding the CEO position to Mark Kingdon, Linden Lab founder Philip Rosedale just announced that he will no longer work at Linden Lab full-time, suggesting that work in his capacity as Linden's chairman will be restricted to "outbound and media type things as before - talking about Second Life". For the most part, however, his main efforts will be devoted to starting a new company, the details of which he won't divulge as yet, except to say it "actually depends on Second Life existing to get started, and that I have been thinking about almost as long as I've been thinking about Second Life."
Regarding Kingdon, he praises the team he has hired, while acknowledging he does not always agree with the company's new direction, and frames that with an interesting analogy: "It's like when your teenagers leave home - of course you still worry and wish they would listen to you more! But at some point you believe that they are safe enough to live on their own."
For now, then, the main question is what Philip Linden's new company will be. From the hints he offers, I'd speculate two directions:
His new company will expand the API technology behind Second Life's dynamic map interface, which he has been concentrating on since stepping down as CEO, especially through his open source Snowglobe project, and work on integrating it with real world map data, into some kind of augmented reality platform. This would satisfy his original goal with Second Life, of simulating and modeling the entire real world in 3D. That, or he may be returning to work on "the Rig", a haptic interface contraption that resembles a treadmill with headgear, a device Philip actually started Linden Lab to develop. (You can read about more, he unsubtly plugged, in my book.) As seen by Microsoft's Natal, the time for a body-driven interface that Philip imagined over a decade ago is finally feasible.
Other speculations, of course, are possible. You may find hints in his new Second Life office, P Squared, where he promises to share more details. (When I arrived there tonight, Katydid Something and others were already lounging in Philip's living room.) Then again, to judge by his office, his new company will involve building luxury oceanfront homes with ambient music booming from the speakers. See for yourself: SLurl teleport at this link.
Rosedale photo by Laura Howard