I was curious to know if Philip Rosedale, founder of Linden Lab, had shared any public thoughts about the epic 30% layoffs which hit that company last week, even obliquely, so checked his Twitter feed. Nothing there about Second Life (least not yet), but I did notice that LoveMachine, the software created by his new company of the same name (which he developed as an employee rating tool at Linden Lab with Cory Ondrejka), is now being used by Digg. Video embedded after the break; it's kind of poignant to hear Digg's Kevin Rose casually mention Philip's "no longer at Second Life", then keep right on going.
Speaking of layoffs at Linden Lab, it's worth remembering that Philip made some massive layoffs of his own. In 2003 (as I mention in the book), shortly after Second Life launched commercially, Philip and his management staff decided their revenue model (monthly subscriptions at first) wasn't gaining traction, and wouldn't cover their burn rate. So they laid off around 30% of Linden Lab's staff (about ten people, I think), which gave them enough time to remake Second Life's revenue model, and base it on virtual land and currency sales. The result? Within three years, after explosive growth and media coverage, Second Life was the toast of Silicon Valley. What do you suppose this new round of layoffs will bring?
LoveMachine stuff starts around 18 minutes in (but then you wouldn't want to miss 17 minutes of Kevin Rose would you?):