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LINDEN RESEARCH, INC. TO BE ACQUIRED


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14 minutes ago, Teresa Firelight said:

No offense intended Grumpity, but  your answer sounds more like something you have to say an LL employee than something you are sincerely convinced of.... I dont see how this is a rock solid for sure bright future for SL... seems like a big scary unknown to me... If you know more that is reassuring, I would love to hear it

Hey Teresa, no offense taken. We're really not able to comment very much in terms of details for now, but we are quite earnest in the Press Release, and I personally think Inara's blog is a great breakdown of that.  

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Good day, all! Just jumping in to respond to a few of the comments... A few folks are speculating that this is the end of SL and nothing could be further from the truth. Any talk of dismantl

SECOND LIFE IS DEAD

In all seriousness -- this really really is a good thing. We’re excited for the opportunities it presents and we’re rock solid sure of the bright future of SL. And with that… NFC    

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I'm not very optimistic, because it kinda reminds me about game creators who made their games with passion, and became big. Then the suits got on the team, and the investors. And ever since then, it's mainly about what the investors want, and the quality suffered considerably. 

I'm certainly not saying SL is d ead or will die, that isn't that likely.

But after being let down by Blizzard, Bioware and Bethesda, I'm usually not rooting for any company to get investors on board nowadays. I know, there's a difference between game companies and LL, and that they need to make a profit, because buisness.. but you know... 

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Now it also makes sense there was absolutely no news for SL17B. Last years all had some, like premium improvements, tier decreases and some other stuff. This year... nothing at all, aside of shopping/music events. Guess they were too busy with that deal and/or weren't in position to make any changes like that already.

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Posted (edited)

Well, what can we find out about the buyers?

"J. Randall Waterfield is Chairman of The Board & Chief Executive Officer of Waterfield Group, one of the largest private financial organizations in the United States. Waterfield Group traces its roots back to 1928, when Richard H. Waterfield founded Waterfield Mortgage Company and Waterfield Insurance Agency in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After selling the largest private mortgage company in the US and largest Indiana based bank in 2006 and 2007 respectively, Waterfield Group has diversified into technology, real estate, asset management and merchant banking. Waterfield today has over $2 billion in managed assets. Since 1999, J. Randall Waterfield, along with his brother, Richard R. Waterfield, have participated in the supervision of Waterfield Group, which includes Waterfield Enterprises, The Waterfield Funds, and registered investment advisor, Waterfield Asset Management." - Bio from Waterfield PR.

"I [Bradford Oberwager] have founded and/or run five tech/CPG companies—Jyve [grocery store restocking using gig workers], Bare Snacks (acquired by PepsiCo), True & Good! Snacks, Acumins/more.com (acquired by HealthCentral), and Blue Tiger/Open Webs (acquired by CarParts). Of course, I founded more than these five, but I have had my share of failures as well. Learned a lot from them." - Bio from LinkedIn

Edited by animats
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10 minutes ago, Medhue Simoni said:

Why does a company that makes a profit need an investment group?

Because the primary investors in LL were venture capital funds. They don't hold ownership forever. They have to exit at some point.

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This is worrying indeed, i've always been more in favor of a company remaining independent from outside influences, and this is basically... the opposite.

I mean unless they are SL users, then maybe it's okay.

If they are SL land barons we are dead tho.

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Certainly, the investors want a return on their investment.  Expect them to try to get it from us, or from whomever they sell Linden Research to in the future (in whole or in disassembled parts).  Hopefully just the former; ideally not the latter... likely, ultimately some combination of the two.

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After seeing a quote from Phillip Rosedale, I feel a little better..

"Since its inception 17 years ago, Second Life has been a pioneer in the concepts of virtual societies, land and economies," says Second Life founder Philip Rosedale, who is now CEO of High Fidelity. "I’ve known Brad for 14 years personally and professionally, and I’m confident he will bring his passion and proven strategies to help Linden Lab achieve new heights in distribution, scale, and quality while remaining true to the original vision, creativity, and community that makes Second Life unique and special.”

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Interesting. It is far too late at night for me to process and any way, with a certain name involved trying very hard to not slip in something like "It's astounding..."

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3 minutes ago, sirhc DeSantis said:

Interesting. It is far too late at night for me to process and any way, with a certain name involved trying very hard to not slip in something like "It's astounding..."

 

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1 hour ago, Milk Pixelmaid said:

Press release: https://www.lindenlab.com/releases/linden_research_to_be_acquired

SAN FRANCISCO, July 9, 2020 — Linden Research, Inc. announced today it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. Closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval by financial regulators in the U.S. related to Tilia Inc.’s status as a licensed money transmitter as well as other customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Mr. Waterfield and Mr. Oberwager will join the Board of Directors of Linden Research, Inc.

 

Thoughts?

 

I don't have an informed opinion on this, other than from watching the black box that is the Lab for the last nearly 16 years.

So, my first thought was: Mitch Kapor will at last get a payday, probably his biggest (or only?) since Lotus-1-2-3, and since his life is now devoted to philanthropy, with his main causes being the end of copyright, freeing of content, undermining of government encryption, on the one hand (which I don't support), and helping of Blacks, underprivileged youths, human rights, etc. which I do support, I guess we can expect more havoc/good from that quarter.

My next thought was that this fellow buying the outfit seems to have more business success (with this sort of better Task Rabbit thing called Jyve) and more experience than the past lab technicians, and that's a good thing.

My third thought was: why the emphasis on Tilia, money. licensing etc when it's supposed to be about virtual content creation? Or maybe those are the same thing, essentially.

My fourth thought was: no, I don't think SL will die. Look at Sansar, once it was out of the Lindens' hands, it seemingly has thrived with big rock concerts and such. Even I visited it. OK, maybe not. But still.

When the Lindens said they didn't have any more sims to sell, I thought that was very, very, very weird, in a world suddenly forced to go online. So I guess it was about this.

Does it mean they were hurting? SL is actually one of the rare online virtual world success stories. So many others have failed, or they don't enable their users to make money. Users make more money in total using SL than they can using FB, since basically only screened app engineers can make money from FB. Instagram doesn't help you make money. What does? But SL has something like $450 million in profits *for users* which is rare and exceptional. So maybe its worth is recognized.

Yet it does have all kinds of problems, whether sim seams, or my bugabear, the edit window opening up and blocking the very thing you're trying to edit. Lindens used to say that fixing SL would be like trying to swap out the engine of a plane while it was flying. But "going to the cloud" or whatever it is -- that has to be done.

Usually when there's an acquisition, the current CEO is replaced, yet Ebbe didn't seem to talk that way. But likely he will be.

It would be folly to raise the price and chase away loyal users already made skittish by the announcement. Yet they will raise the price because -- see above. They will have some kind of developers' license you can buy that will enable you to upload unlimited textures, sounds, and mesh but will cost you something to be using this platform to make money.

I predict they will keep Oz because he basically runs the place. Others are going to be let go. There are certain ones I'd like to see in that number but they manage to survive through every change of regime so it's not likely. 

Basically, SL is too complicated and rare a toy to buy if you merely plan to put it out of business. That is, if you are Google, and making your own thing, sure, it would make sense. But not for this guy. He likely imagines he can turn it into a virtual meeting space on demand.

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Investment groups are typically parasites that contribute very little while sucking companies dry. I at least will be more careful about spending money on SL until these ones prove they aren't.

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