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LINDEN RESEARCH, INC. TO BE ACQUIRED


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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

Honestly, as much as I love Linden Lab and Second Life, I see this as a horrible, horrible thing, and personally feel that the "This is good news!" from LL is PR to keep residents happy in the meantim

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25 minutes ago, Vic Mornington said:

I've worked for several companies that got taken over by investment companies.  What happens next falls into two categories depending on the path that the investment company follows.

1: Things run smoothly for a year or so, then the investment company starts asset stripping piece by piece.  Not all at once (usually) but small pieces of the pie are stripped out and moved on to other companies they own.  Before anyone knows it, whats left is an empty shell, the user base then collectively leaves, and that empty shell is closed, or then, ultimately sold off to another buyer.  While that is going on, and about halfway through their plan, prices start to creep up, or new ways to milk the customer for money is brought in.  They intend to get as much cash as they can while the asset stripping is going on to at least get some kind of return on the initial investment before the sell off starts.

2: The investment company...invests.  They take a loss on the initial purchase, a loss on the initial investment but have a road plan to regain that investment back in 2 to 5 years.  They hire in new staff to oversee and overhaul of the internal company structure, they hire in new I.T and new Dev's to oversee and undertake a complete and total independent and impartial inventory of the underlying structure of the company.  They then target the weak points, or points which may in the future stop or slow down income stream...and they throw money and people at it to fix the problem.  It is a long multistage plan, with the eventuality of the plan of making the company they invested into more profitable either by sheer growth of the user base, or an internal and external restructuring of the company and the services that company provides.  THIS is the kind of investment company we can hope has taken over Linden Research, the type of company who are in it for the long haul.

We will find out (probably by the beginning of next year) if the investment company who took over is path 1, or path 2. 

If they are path 1, we will all see it within 6 months as cash grabs as small asset stripping starts to take place.  When you see that start to happen...leave or dramatically scale back.  I know i will.

Vic, 

Thank you for sharing your insights from your experiences. I agree with you. We hope for 2 but watch carefully. 

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   Goes to Google 'Oberwager'.

   Oh. It wasn't a pun? Oh well. Um. Hm. 

   . . . Well, we're having an interesting night, at least.

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2 hours ago, Grumpity Linden said:

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 ;) 

 

I am skeptical of this. I have experienced many ""acquisitions" in my working career and not ONE has had a good outcome in the end. The results ranging from restructuring and people being made redundant to making the place so sh** to work that people quit In droves.. And of course, the new owners always give the ""don't worry folks, it will be business as usual" speel to try and calm everyone down, but we all know that's usually a load of BS.

The last "acquisition" i got tangled up in a couple of years back, we got the usual "stay calm" speech from the new owners and were promised the usual BS (nothing will change, business as usual etc), then not long after, suddenly almost everyone in the company had to reapply for their jobs. I had been there for over 6 years at that stage. everyone was like wtf? So I was interviewed via video to some crowd of suits at a table on the other side of the country, almost everyone was. Not long after that, the "new owners" kindly told everyone that they were out of a job in about a months time and they would be running the company out of a small office on the other side of the country. Meanwhile, they flew in people from the other side of the country for me to train in doing my job. It was pretty soul destroying. Only 1 person survived the cull, the head infrastructure engineer, and it was just to use him so that they could wind down all the data center stuff. That's just one "acquisition" experience I have had, the rest I have experienced in my working career have had equally disappointing outcomes, the new owners come along and ***** everything up royally (the tech itself and/or the working environment).

You cant blame your userbase for having doubts about a good outcome here.

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2 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

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.

I am sure they are moving their corporate offices to SL as we speak...

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1 hour ago, Ceka Cianci said:

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.”

High Fidelity, lol.

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2 hours ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

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.

That really happened to LL many years ago. It went through four rounds of fundraising from 2003 to 2006, causing the original owners' shares to be so diluted they all but lost control over the company. One of the early Lindens, Avi Bar-Zeev made some comments about it in his blog. From that I get the impression this caused quite a bit of resentment among the staff and may well have been a major reason why LL lost the two most prominent Lindens within a few months in 2007/2008.

Also, I haven't really mentioned this before for obvious reasons but there is a peculiar thing about Linden and ex-Linden reviews at glassdoor.com; even positive reviews tend to be rathar critical of the owners/executive board and even the most negative ones tend to give a quite good impression of the CEO (well done Ebbe! :))

I know nothing about the new owners of course but considering this I tend to believe that a change of ownership is a good sign.

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The communication company I worked for was purchased in whole from it's private shareholders.  They asked us to stay on for a year before we make a decision to leave or stay.  In that time we got feedback about our work performance.  They ended up keeping everybody that didn't leave on their own at the news of the transaction.  It's a better place to work now, in my opinion.  I am sunsetting old systems and infrastructure as I migrate subscribers to the new infrastructure that I am also participating in building and managing.  I get better pay, much better insurance and other benefits, and they let me upgrade my office and tools.

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2 minutes ago, Ardy Lay said:

The communication company I worked for was purchased in whole from it's private shareholders.  They asked us to stay on for a year before we make a decision to leave or stay.  In that time we got feedback about our work performance.  They ended up keeping everybody that didn't leave on their own at the news of the transaction.  It's a better place to work now, in my opinion.  I am sunsetting old systems and infrastructure as I migrate subscribers to the new infrastructure that I am also participating in building and managing.  I get better pay, much better insurance and other benefits, and they let me upgrade my office and tools.

You should consider playing in the lottery :)

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1 hour ago, Chaser Zaks said:

The end result: Second Life gets closed because people not involved with the community at all don't know what they are doing and have profits first, community second.

I've seen it before with Tumblr, Nest, Neopets, Geocities, YouTube, etc.

Personally, I think the best thing to do is have these "investors" show they care about the community. Not just "say" they "understand the concerns", but show they mean it. Because right now, I fear for Second Life.

Same here.  I remember there was a great chat website, WBS, was great until Disney bought them and folded it into their Go platform. They totally destroyed it.  Another is the original Xoom (not the payment platform that took the name later) Clip Art Site and free web hosting , which went downhill when they got bought by NBC. I can name a few others.  I hope SL don't go the same path.

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49 minutes ago, Vic Mornington said:

I've worked for several companies that got taken over by investment companies.  What happens next falls into two categories depending on the path that the investment company follows.

1: Things run smoothly for a year or so, then the investment company starts asset stripping piece by piece.  Not all at once (usually) but small pieces of the pie are stripped out and moved on to other companies they own.  Before anyone knows it, whats left is an empty shell, the user base then collectively leaves, and that empty shell is closed, or then, ultimately sold off to another buyer.  While that is going on, and about halfway through their plan, prices start to creep up, or new ways to milk the customer for money is brought in.  They intend to get as much cash as they can while the asset stripping is going on to at least get some kind of return on the initial investment before the sell off starts.

2: The investment company...invests.  They take a loss on the initial purchase, a loss on the initial investment but have a road plan to regain that investment back in 2 to 5 years.  They hire in new staff to oversee and overhaul of the internal company structure, they hire in new I.T and new Dev's to oversee and undertake a complete and total independent and impartial inventory of the underlying structure of the company.  They then target the weak points, or points which may in the future stop or slow down income stream...and they throw money and people at it to fix the problem.  It is a long multistage plan, with the eventuality of the plan of making the company they invested into more profitable either by sheer growth of the user base, or an internal and external restructuring of the company and the services that company provides.  THIS is the kind of investment company we can hope has taken over Linden Research, the type of company who are in it for the long haul.

We will find out (probably by the beginning of next year) if the investment company who took over is path 1, or path 2. 

If they are path 1, we will all see it within 6 months as cash grabs as small asset stripping starts to take place.  When you see that start to happen...leave or dramatically scale back.  I know i will.

I wonder what you see as SL's assets.

Servers with content on them aren't assets, they're cost centers, they have to be run, billed, fixed, etc.

The content is an asset I guess but where else can it be used? Most of it only in SL.

The users are assets only if they are bundled with the other things, the servers and content, if those aren't there, they flee.

So how can it strip? What can it strip? I wouldn't assume it will go the way of say, Toys 'R Us.

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1 hour ago, Cinos Field said:

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.

ActiVision comes to mind. Classic example.

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1 minute ago, ArgontheDevil Ormega said:

I am willing to admit that I could be wrong, but while it may be great for the company I see no good coming of this for the residents.  Archive everything and prepare to migrate to another grid.

so you want people to pull and illegal move? I hope they have deep pockets of money.   lawsuits for all!

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2 hours ago, Ceka Cianci said:

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.”

Famous last words - and oddly enough, almost word-for-word (bar names) that the owners of our formerly small and wildly successful ISP said at the last minute (literally), when they sold us up the river without warning (just like this) to a big group who thumb their nose at the law, government and customers and do as they please. They happily pay massive fines for false advertising - and keep right on doing it.

Micro-transactions, reduction of services; take, take, take, give less, less, less; and let's be honest, anyone can make anything look like its a good thing - just google your angriest questions about Microsoft and watch numerous paid shill sites come up with the  countless reasons why we should adore Microsoft.

I hope time shows those of us who are wary, that we needn't be. I really do. But until then...thinking Kotick and ActiVision; R.I.P. WoW.

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