Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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SL Creator Philip Rosedale No Longer on Linden Lab's Board

Philip Rosedale

Second Life founder Philip Rosedale is no longer on the board of Linden Lab, Rosedale just confirmed with me this week, something I only noticed recently -- though as it turns out, he actually departed earlier in 2013:

"I left the board around the start of the year [as] I was starting High Fidelity," Philip tells me by e-mail, "but on great terms -- both Mitch [Kapor] and Linden are both investors in High Fidelity, and I'm still a big shareholder in Linden." (High Fidelity is a new kind of virtual reality platform that's still under wraps.) While Philip left the CEO role in 2010, he still maintained a position on its board. Having left the board, however, he no longer has any more input on company management decisions, overall direction, or policy formation.

I see this as a major milestone in the company's history:

Linden Lab Philip Rosedale Board

Second Life is still responsible for most of Linden Lab's revenue, but with Philip gone, no Linden board member has direct, day-to-day experience with SL as a product, or personal memory of its development, and the growth of its hardcore userbase (which still makes up the bulk of its total users). For that matter, neither does Linden Lab's current management, most of whom come the traditional game industry (Sony, Electronic Arts, Eidos, etc). This is not necessarily a bad thing, and I've argued before that Second Life should be more explicitly developed and promoted as a game (at least for new users). It also suggests a very different direction for the company that Philip started. And veterans of the traditional game industry tend to take a very aggressive view on intellectual property, which may at least partially explain the draconian new Terms of Service

And speaking of which -- yes, I also asked Philip if he had an opinion about the ToS that he wanted to share, but for whatever reason (which may include being too busy to reply), I received no answer there.

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Pussycat Catnap

His opinions of the new ToS notwithstanding, it might explain how the thing came about.

The company is now a corporation that has no knowledge or user experience of its own major product. That being the case, it is also no surprise they have no understanding of their customers in any sense beyond money...

Hitomi Tiponi

It makes sense for Philip to leave as it would be a conflict of interest if his new company were to receive a takeover offer from Linden Lab and other companies. Even if he is not on the board I am sure he still talks regularly with many at the Lab.

Iggy

I find it hard to believe that he stayed so long. We all cuss Philip from time to time, but he did dream of something pretty amazing. I saw a glimmer of that idea at Burning Life the two times I went.

And it almost came true. There's your next book, Hamlet.

Gaga

Philip is still a major share holder and he can step back at any time to do what he did when Mark Kingdom got shown the door - sack 1/3 employees, end education/none-profits discounts, open the adult grid to children, make the TOS ever more restrictive and allow the CEO to take "joint possession" of all the content creator's IP. Add to that the little matter of refusing to consider a reduction in the inflated tier costs in the face of a decline in regions and active users, and stiffening off the excess of profits to develop video games and buy up game distribution sites I would say the Master is still there in the background pulling a string or two.

Orca Flotta

"The people are poor, they are starving, have no jobs, lost their houses, lost all hope, abandoned their dreams."

"Right. What they want and need now is panem et circenses."

"Ooooh yes, so let's give them games! Games are da phutah!"

"So, what do we have in our assets list?"

"Hm, a gas station, a bakery, a coffee shop, a server farm, a vehicle repair shop ... and that weird Virtual World."

"OK, cool. Let's gamify everything, that should help ... maximizing our profits."

"Oh, boss, the people are leaving the virtual world, our profit is actually shrinking :("

"Ugh, well, fukit, they'll be back. They are so addicted to our most crappy product, we can turn it into everything and will still make money from it. Harr harr :)"

Oink

No wonder Philip Rosedale complains 00:04 about needing ONE HOUR himself as SL creator to get his audio in Second Life running, next to crashing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rv91AwOkJQ

Now he gets business-as-usual Customer Experience

Marianne McCann

M Linden left Linden Lab in June of 2010. Several other Linden staff members were let go before this. Only mentioning it because, well, it's all old news.

Oldbie

How many on the board are from EA. That explains a lot.

Oldbie

Who will run willingly into High Fidelity with open arms kissing Philips ass this time? He bailed, and left those who made him who he is to the sharks. I say run away and save yourself the future aggravation when that goes to shit too.

Dartagan Shepherd

Should probably follow the official forums more. I Mentioned that Phil wasn't listed as a board member back in May.

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Merchants/Recent-TOS-changes-cripples-not-just-3rd-party-L-exchange-but/m-p/2001471#M34591

zzpearlbottom

So High Fidelity is the next gen Second Life?

zzpearlbottom

And btw, i don't care to much about Ea on the board, there are quite a few amazing members overall, if just by that LL deserves more trust for me now!

Metacam Oh

I imagine he was one of the sole board members left who had any sort of vision for the SL product. I can only imagine the milking dry of his brilliant creation for profit was very hard to sit through. Hopefully Mr. Rosedale will learn from his mistakes, not get cornered into a business model that chokes innovation and please, no more walled gardens.

joker

i guess he didnt read the TOS closely enough....

joker

oh..stupid fun club.... not so much anymore. looks like the BOD needs a update.

such fail.

Kim Anubis

Would the recent revisions to the SL TOS allow LL to transfer user-created assets from SL to Surface?

Kim Anubis

Eep, I didn't mean Surface, I meant High Fidelity.

SEER

This man allowed the creation of the pole in the attic that he allowed and worked his wrath and destruction. This man allowed the destruction of a creation by not seeing what was sent him for the future. It will be no different whether he stays or leaves. Second Live and those that created the pole in the attic will dance to it. Period. They will dance, and they will endure what they created for those that they made dance to their own tune. No matter where they go or what they do, they will be those that will dance. No matter what. And yes this man will be included in that dance to the sounds only they know, the creation only they created, and what they did to the ones they were to see to, and make right to. This man will indeed dance. And indeed did this man create a world he could not look down on and condemn in any way.

These words have been spoken, these words will be what happens.

SEER

Oink

The Shareholder meeting controls the Board and assigned Executive officers... to my knowledge.

Foxxe Wilder

Phil needs to stay linked with this project if not for any other reason than to AVOID the outcome of what happened to REALAUDIO (remember that one? -- it died a horrible death as a failure.)

Now I can't speak for any corporate entities as I am NOTORIOUSLY AGAINST such EVIL and VILE entities but I CAN speak for the poor that seem to actually populate this virtual world in great numbers.

LL looks for immediate financial 'rewards' as opposed to creating a business to last and to serve as many of the public as possible. For example, a mere laptop with 8 gigs of ram and 2 processors WORKS ITS ASS off just to be inworld! There is no need for this crap!

Here's an idea LL, FIX the broken parts of the WHOLE product BEFPRE you start putting in more BS toys that actually CAUSE MORE PROBLEMS when these NEW TOYS (aka 'shiny objects' to A.D.D. minds), are added to the whole.

You can give an old rust bucket Ford a new paintjob and make it LOOK all pretty on the outside but it don't mean ANYTHING if the engine and wiring are buggered!

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