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Friday, June 11, 2010


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Crap Mariner

"Layoffs were motivated not by cost-cutting, but rather by a desire to consolidate software development in the US, where teams in close proximity can work better together, Kingdon said."

I guess they got sick of eating their dog food too.


Scylla Rhiadra

I should have thought that one of the points that would "jump right out" at you would have been his comment, appearing under the heading "The Future Looks Grim," that "I'm afraid I don't see much of a future for Second Life."

Mecha Innis

"I'm afraid I don't see much of a future for Second Life."

Wow, how can he come away with that view when the interview with the CEO is saying the exact opposite. Maybe, there was a personality conflict?

LL is doing what every business that wants to survive has to do. A business has to define its value proposition, which LL has done- an extraordinary virtual world experience. So they will be focusing on whatever it takes to achieve this, whether that means changing the technology, changing the staff, changing the name and introducing new products. Does he know that most major corporations introduce new products periodically, most of which fail? However, the one in ten that succeeds often becomes a "cash cow".

Most businesses are now automating and outsourcing. Hasn't he been following the employment news in the U.S. and around the world?

I think SL has a very bright future by being innovative, looking at market trends, and developing new products, which is what they are doing. Look how far SL has come since it was launched in 2003, just 7 years ago. Does he know that it takes most businesses over 5 years to become consistently profitable, and that most new businesses fail?

SL will continue to grow because it offers a unique internet experience, for me at least, and the cost of exit is too high. I have no intention of losing all the money, time and energy I have already spent in SL. If SL were to go under, I would be done with virtual worlds period. I've already spent too much money. I'm not going to start over.

The CEO has outlined a great business model and strategy. It's too bad the people writing these articles don't have a better understanding of business models.

Toxic Menges

Whilst I am sure it would have been fab if Mitch had worked for my old rag www.computerweekly.com I believe this article is actually from Computerworld...

Maybe I woulda stayed if he had been able to write for them..

Rob Knop

Wow, how can he come away with that view when the interview with the CEO is saying the exact opposite.

Probably because he recognized how utterly implausible the things that the CEO was saying were. You don't lay off *those* people because you're refocusing on core goals. You lay them off if you're having financial trouble, and you want the short-term on-paper bottom line to look better. If M was straight with interviewers, instead of feeding the standard corporate-BS "everything is rosy" line that PR departments want you to feed, I might be a bit more sanguine about the future prospects for the company.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Rob, good to hear you on the Interwebs again. We miss you at the VW roundtable. Come on by before we have to move it to OpenSim so you can I can have another Mac-PC smackdown :)

I agree with your assessment. After all, Mitch Wagner was hardly SL bashing. In fact he went out of his way to note how revolutionary the platform has been.

State governments behave this way when they have budget problems. Attrition and gradual layoffs, not a Chainsaw Al approach, would have sent a message that LL was refocusing, not getting ready for an acquisition.

Fascinating to follow all this on SLED, by the way. Bunch of cranky educators over there, fuming about how dumped-on many are feeling.

Hamlet Au

Ooops, Toxic, good catch, fixed.

Mecha Innis

Business 101

"..we have a strong balance sheet, and we're well-capitalized."

What is a strong balance sheet?

1) The ability to convert assets to cash and meet short-term obligations of less than one year, as indicated by the current ratio, cash-to-debt ratio, and debt-to-equity ratio. These ratios are measures of liquidity.

2) Leverage (the amount of debt in a firm's capital structure and the ability to meet long-term obligations of more than one year)

This is how you judge the financial health of a company, not profit, which is really for tax purposes, as any accountant will tell you.

What does it mean to be well capitalized?

A business that is well capitalized has the funds that it needs to cover operational expenses. This therefore means that the company has no trouble attracting investments.

These indicators mean that the company is robust.

Lalo Telling

"strong balance sheet": It's printed on paperboard, none of that flimsy 20-lb copier crap.

"well capitalized": LIKE THIS?

Mecha, you're doing a damn good job of assuming that M can be taken at his word, and insisting that the rest of us do. Other than the chance those aren't his words originally, but taken from a script he was given... the rest of us have learned not to take his word for anything.

Without numbers to back it up -- say, from an independent auditor -- it's just another line of BS.

Nexus Burbclave

I'm inclined to agree with Mitch Wagner's analysis. The irony is that the strategy Kingdon outlined is a strategy that Rosedale would probably be much better suited to execute. Kingdon isn't a product guy. That should be clear from his track record at Linden Lab and his previous track record as well. Linden Lab is going to need a Steve Jobs at the helm to make this strategy shift work, and it seems like they've got more of a "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap. Mind you, like Mitch, I would love to be proven wrong.

Rob Knop

Ignatius -- yeah, I should try coming to the VWER roundtables again! This semester, I was busy with (guess what?) teaching classes. I'm about to move to a new University whose schedule will probably conflict with everything....

Re: Mac vs. PC, I use Linux, and with Tofu gone, I despair for the continued support of Linux.

What I *really* want to see is OpenSim to have a viewer that's not tied to the LL viewer. Then they could do things like try to fix the protocol so that firewalls don't cause problems for it, and generally work on developing the global interoperable metaverse.

EnCore Mayne

i HAD said, in an earlier comment that went astray (yes, it's a gated community) that the writer (who is not a friend of mine) had 1 quote from M. that to me suggested that most of his opinion was just that. if that is so offensive to you or your sensitivities/agenda suit yourself.

mecha innis

This analysis is really poor for someone who writes for a Computer website, as it reflects linear thinking. He is comparing a dynamic 3D graphics program with scripting capabilities which allows you to create interactive objects and animations and share these with others around the globe in real time, in addition to music and videos, with a program from 18 years ago!

Computer power is growing exponentially and breakthroughs in artificial intelligence are very likely over the next ten years.

This means programs like SL are on a fast evolutionary track, and a Matrix like experience will be the next stop. No my friend the future is virtual, and SL is that future.

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