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22 minutes ago, Nika Talaj said:

To treat LL like any other leveraged buyout, stifle SL's growth to contribute a fairly insignificant revenue stream so Randy, Raj & Brad can more easily gratify their personal ambitions to bolster their status in digital banking, would be monstrous.

i agree with your sentiment. I don't either assign ill-intent to the now owners. The two principals Mssrs Waterfield and Oberwager have a history of making money using growth strategies. They are not asset strippers, they are into acquiring companies that have potential pathways to increase revenues and help to build those pathways

as for my understanding of a leveraged buyout, the Linden announcement says:

Quote

Linden Research, Inc. announced today it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager.

the investment group is not Waterfield Group itself. If SL was the target (a mature and profitable earner) then Waterfield Group itself would be the vehicle and it isn't.

whenever another vehicle, in these situations, is set up it almost invariably means debt funding (if not all then in part)

should further capital investment be required (beyond SL revenues) to grow Tilia then further debt funding. I very much doubt that third-party capital investment for a growth strategy would be invited by the Board in the current financial climate. Not when debt money can be gotten very cheaply from a historical perspective. The vehicle either takes on the debt itself and extracts the payments (as dividends) from Linden Research, or they load the debt onto Linden Research directly

in either case, Ebbe Linden has said that SL is very good earner. Linden Research today is a traditional cash cow, meaning a stable mature company with a stable mature customer base willing to pay above market prevailing rates for technical services that they want. Which is no different from other companies that cater to the higher priced discretionary product market. There are handbags and then there are handbags

having said all this, I am not privy to the internals of this deal. It may be that Mr Waterfield and Mr Oberwager funded the buyout out of their own pockets, with a few friends/entities maybe chipping as well. Maybe. Would be good if this is what has happened. I doubt it tho. Somebody Owner has borrowed a bunch of money to buy Linden Research, money which has to be paid back

the cash cow fundamentals of Linden Research just leads itself to a leveraged buyout (some/most/if not all). And as such, it doesn't make make a lot of business sense to not borrow the money. Keeping the pie slices larger per owner at this time, knowing that SL all by itself (the cash cow) can fund the repayments, while also anticipating that should the Tilia (and/or SL) growth strategy work out then can sell pieces of the pie as dividend bearing share investments for X multiples of the original purchase price

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On 1/27/2021 at 1:26 AM, Mollymews said:

the existing SL customer base isn't really into move fast and break stuff. They are more into never break my stuff. Which is a pretty standard response from customers of products with a relatively expensive product purchase/maintenance price.

I have a few thoughts on this, just using the  Mollymews quote as a starting place.

 

1. This was mentioned in another thread last week.  SL may not be the super shiny NEW thing that it once was and yes, so many of us want EEP to just disappear or at least be able to be ignored in the viewer as is is now -- permanently, but there is a huge crop of folks with many thousands of USD invested in SL and there is nowhere else for them to go.   Most don't want VR gear and very very few are willing to start over and "invest" that all again.  So while new folks aren't coming in that much and old folks are leaving the planet any decline will likely be a very slow one.  

2. Creators DO HAVE THE TOOLS to make complete credible and lovely "game assets" in SL. They choose not to because for a big segment of the population -- "pretty sells".  ArcTan is most likely very dead now, which is sad but it would have been a hellish thing on implementation with virtual riots most likely -- so hopefully consumer education will get creators to pay a bit more attention and at least retopo the render mesh they buy from the web. 

3. Just now, I got an email from the Sansar Discord group. I get them when the message is to "everybody".  Lacie is back in Sansar from SL and I am sure the Sansar folks are very happy about that. I don't know if she was let go from SL or left of her own accord, but I am happy that she found a place to nest as she didn't want to leave Sansar during those rounds of firings. She was the only one that the general public knew of that was MOVED rather than fired. 

4. I hadn't read this thread before today and didn't really know what it was about but when I searched for a thread with "acquired" as the term it showed up and so I read. Learned a few things so happy about that. Yes, it was stated somewhere officially that this was a leveraged buyout so the new folks have likely very little of their own money on the line.

They do have a fair list of other companies that they own (someone sent me a screenshot in an email the other night). The only name I recognized was Goldman Sachs which is a "transaction banking" company. There were also a few listings dealing apparently with sound (not sure why I remember those but I was mostly looking for an SL relationship which I can see now is most likely NOT there :D). 

 

I think the idea that Tilia was the "real" purchase is likely correct. Personally I don't care if the new company makes "improvements". I think we are fine without bright new shinies . I haven't been crashing nearly as often (hear that knocking on the desktop?) so hopefully the worst is over. As I said on another thread, just keep the infrastructure going; that's the most important thing. 

If they do that, and then later if Tilia does for them what they want -- they could sell just SL to someone else who might actually CARE.   Fingers crossed.  

 

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  • 1 month later...

Do a google / duck duck go search on NFT's ( non fungible tokens)  Those could put every piece of intellectual property on the blockchain. That would guarantee they could never be successfully stolen. Maybe if they are into blockchain this will be the direction they go?

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On 1/26/2021 at 4:04 AM, Nika Talaj said:

Raj Date is the 3rd member of LL's new board of directors, now that their acquisition has completed.   The other two are the men who "led" the otherwise faceless group that acquired LL, Brad Oberwager and Randy Waterfield.  I give Mr. Date's bio from LL's website below.  He's a heavy hitter.

Mr. Date is not only a consumer banking regulatory phenom,  he's also the founder of Fenway Summer, a VC firm and financial technology advisory firm.  I suppose he personally is likely to have been a member of the investment group that bought LL.  Fenway Summer invests in some cutting-edge banking technology firms: it provided part of the seed funding for Veem (then Align).  

It is interesting that the word "blockchain" is missing from his bio.  Fenway Summer invests in several firms looking to revolutionize global banking, and many of them use blockchain for this and that.  Veem uses it for its ledgering.   Tilia, of course, has also been used in blockchain environments. 

Mr Date also sat on Circle Internet Financial's board, a global payments firm deep into blockchain and cryptocurrencies.  Circle: "We help internet businesses accept payments and send payouts globally in one unified platform. Move digital money leveraging traditional payment rails or do business in a more global, scalable, and efficient way through blockchain infrastructure. Circle seamlessly connects these worlds."

Whatever that means.   

What's notable from my nearsighted view is that none of these three have visible credentials in virtual worlds.  Zero.  The board is well equipped to quietly develop Tilia into ... something ...but ill-equipped to help SL in any way other than to occasionally throw some money over the fence.

I say "quietly" because although I'm not terribly stupid and am watching carefully, I have no concrete idea of what they intend to do with Tilia.  Of course, I'm a finance ignoramus.  If they made more noise about Mr. Date's joining the board, it is likely that they would attract the attention of many folks who would immediately deduce why this group wanted Tilia enough to buy LL.

I wonder if any of those folks could readily deduce why they would want SL?

There is one guy who voiced strong support for this acquisition who might be able to help us out with that question: Philip Rosedale.

Anyone else have an idea?

__________________________________________________________

Raj Date bio

Raj Date was the first-ever Deputy Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As the Bureau’s second-ranking official, he helped steward the CFPB’s strategy, its operations, and its policy agenda. He also served on the senior staff committee of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and as a statutory deputy to the FDIC Board.

Before being appointed Deputy Director, Raj acted as the interim leader of the new agency, serving as the Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury. He led the CFPB for most of the first six months after its launch.

Currently, Raj is the Managing Partner of Fenway Summer, an advisory and investment firm focused on financial services and financial technology. In that capacity, he chairs the investment committee of Fenway Summer Ventures, a fintech venture capital fund, and works with clients of FS Vector, the fintech advisory firm. He also serves as a Director for a number of innovative firms in financial services: Prosper, the marketplace lender; Green Dot, the bank holding company; Circle, the digital asset firm; Grasshopper, a de novo bank; and College Ave, a private student lender.

He is a graduate of the College of Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley (highest honors) and the Harvard Law School (magna ***** laude).

 


Nika, I don't know what your RL background is or your RL experience and haven't studied your profile, so I have no idea where you are, or what your level of understanding is, and I'll preface my comment by saying my own level of understanding of economics is limited.

But the thrust of what you and others are saying seems to go like this: "These capitalists bought our dear SL as a leveraged buy-out, so they must be evil and must be bent on asset-stripping and destroying us and running us into the ground while they escape with some winnings -- because they sound like Bain Capital and we all know that hate ad about Romney and his association with Bain and his responsibility for this hard-working man's wife dying without sufficient health care."

Right?

I mean, so many people in SL have that vision in their heads of first, Americans, then, capitalists and it's hard to get the little golf ball in your miniature golf game through the blades of the windmill on this one to explain...

Nevertheless, I try anyway.

That infamous hate ad was misleading and false, Romney was not as they said, and while some leveraged buy-outs like Sears and Toys 'R Us spectacularly and visibly fail, others don't, and the workers are glad to still have jobs by owners that at least keep their companies going. I mean, read the tortured history of the Strand, the NYC bookstore, if you want to see a vivid struggle between seemingly evil capitalists and unionized socialists (who in fact are the most liberal Americans -- Ron Wyden is one of the most extreme Silicon Valley friendly congress people there is, supporting "net neutrality", opposing "SIPA" and all the other things you on the forums hate). 

The "assets" of SL are not strippable -- if there are no actual people paying for the accounts and sims, you don't have a business. The software by itself, with no application, is not really sellable, as other things out there now compete with it strenuously as mere software -- and this is a very tiny space with a lot of "virtual world winters" and "virtual reality goggle" failures in it that you have to be very, very visionary and long-term to care about.

The new owners can't fire us or take away our health care plans -- virtuality doesn't gives us real jobs, by and large, and even those of us who struggle to run little businesses in SL generally don't quit their day jobs or else live on fixed income or family wealth. Second Life is a circus with mainly rubes and a few carnies, and if you bought a circus, you don't close the gates, fire the clowns and strip out the tents and expect the rubes to still show up. If you want to do that, you don't buy a circus, you buy Toys 'R Us. Our fabulously tanned and healthy avatars die instantly when we die in RL. So the analogies just don't hold up. It's not that "we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us" -- it's not really work for the lion's share of people and a few who get paid could get paid elsewhere with those skills. We don't really have any assets ourselves for them to strip.

Even if they have inflated monthly uniques or "revenue" which doesn't sufficiently discuss real costs, they realize what they have here, which is a fairly good thing -- it's not a Sears or a Toys 'R Us because it's small and strange.

So...No, these people are the socialists of the United States, actually, not "vulture capitalists". These are the people reforming capitalism in just that socialist way that you have in Europe or Asia.

So you have to study how this guy got appointed, which is by friending Elizabeth Warren, whose brainchild this government agency is, who is our premiere socialist Queen (AOC is only a duchess, really, in one country). 

Now, whatever you think about Elizabeth Warren, and whatever your arguments are about how Americans don't understand socialism, and don't get it, and think these benighted souls believe socialism is all these other bad things that in fact aren't it (a debate I'm happy to have with you as long as we are in a free speech setting), you'd have to concede that Elizabeth Warren is not an asset-stripping vulture. Oh, she's not Hillary!

I'm not a socialist, or social democrat, or democratic socialist, I'm just a Democrat, and the Democratic Party is not hostile to business and is for regulating business, not taking it over.

So accordingly, read these Wikis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raj_Date
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Financial_Protection_Bureau

See where he geolocates on the political spectrum which is: "Obama in fact creating the agency Warren dreamed of in her university to rein in capitalism after the home mortgage disaster and the recession which still isn't over, and is now reinvigorated by the global pandemic" -- and this guy serving as its first director. No doubt its dream was somewhat compromised when it hit reality -- that always happens with university socialist ideas -- but still, it probably does some good, and he within it.

So you can argue whether the recession was about third-way socialistic democrats like Bill Clinton wanting to give more poor people homes and not sufficiently regulating the "NINJA loans," or you can blame banksters who greedily sold mortgages and debts they knew couldn't be paid as "junk bonds" etc. etc. But I think most people agree that regulation is key, but that in America, that has to be done democratically with what you have, which is a two-party system, where one party has incited an insurrection against the very system of government. While you can seat Democrats to take over Congress, the most extreme Democrats cannot take over, at least not as things are now.

So somewhere Raj fits into this stream, it's still basically about trying to do good, and being idealistic, the idea of an actual profit-making machine -- which Second Life in fact *is* and not only for its owners but its users -- a very rare unicorn on the Internet, laughed at and jeered at by WeWork and Theranos sort of Silicon Valley venture capitalists who have their revolutions eat all their children, and have so much disruption they don't even have customers any more. LL has customers. That's us. It has a modest business that is labor-intensive and capital-intensive at times in a very hostile climate where every new game has a better engine and developer content by contrast to which SL will always look a little shabby and down-at-heel.

OK, bitcoin -- he is wise to scrub that from his biography, because it's not quite entirely clear if that's a good thing. Remember this: the creator of Mt. Gox who committed suicide actually got her start in SL of all places. Upland -- the other Tilia virtual world -- is the virtual world playing with bitcoin and doing silly things like "selling a Wall Street Replica" for $23,000 in real money.  Hopefully, that means bitcoin won't invade SL -- they have Upland for that game. That's not what SL does. We sell an entire Blake Sea sim for only US $8,000 -- and when we do that, the buyer has to work weekends and do a lot of sweat equity, but in a year or so he can make that back in rentals. People then value that land, and not as just some NFT bauble, but a real place they live in and socialize in and create in. That is not trivial. That is indeed a thing. It's a great business -- for platform owners and prosumer platform users. It can't scale. But it also can't be stripped and new owners run away laughing to the bank -- as they'd be losers, too.

The main purpose of Raj is this set-up from what I can tell, is to use his vast reserve of knowledge of How Things Work when it comes to REGULATING business so that this particular business of LL itself can be sold through the thicket of regulations and flourish -- and his double degrees, in both engineering, which comes in handy to understand how sims work, and Harvard law, which gives you not only the right to keep practicing law, even if you never get perfect at it, but to be connected to all the strings of power, if you will. So he completed that task, and if he is still here, then he is putting his knowledge, skills, and connections to work selling these two circuses -- Upland and Second Life -- to wider commerce circles and "thought influencers."

So Raj never has to make an avatar, come inworld, give me a bear, or anything else, Raj just has to go on being Raj, and associating his brilliance and connections and actually idealistic, socialistic do-gooding impulses to our cause, if you will. Raj doesn't seem like he believes in micro-lending schemes for village women in RL, which are discovered to be corrupt or really state socialism in disguise. And he may just grasp that SL is in fact a fabulous micro-lending scheme for poor women, once you get over your reaction to the way they might look or seem or do, and maybe THIS is in fact what you do -- have platforms on the Internet that make money for both owners and users, and don't just scrape data off hapless users to use in selling first ads to companies, then things those poor people don't need.

As I said about Brad, he does "snacks and car parts" and I have enormous respect for that, it's real, he's an expert on customer service and transport and delivery and logistics and everything else -- he also seems to me to be ideal for running this creaky boat of ours.

The new guys all seem fine to me, and I do not suspect them of any ugly or ulterior or dastardly motives from everything I've read about them.

I do wish they had a vision statement and some "roadmap" which is what you do in "Silicon Valley" but maybe they aren't sufficiently trained to the Silicon Valley culture, these are East Coast people, and you need to read your C.S. Snow and my analysis of same to realize they may not do this to everyone's satisfaction -- or if/when they do, it may come out sounding ridiculous or irrelevant. That's fine, as long as they don't delete Mainland or change anything too drastically.

It would be better if the VP of Engineering (Oz Linden) could stay longer and keep the boat floating but there are equally capable people doing his job now, and that job is in theory less now that AWS engineers do some of it.

I think I'd actually rather have these current guys, if I understood them correctly, then the types before who had grand visions of Bettering Humanity, more far leftist and technocratic views that I think are not realizable in real life. I think the new owners are more grounded in the realities of real life as we have it now in America, which is "not Sweden". 

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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On 1/26/2021 at 4:31 AM, bigmoe Whitfield said:

its pretty cool they are bringing in some heavy hitter, but I'm not into any crypto anything and never will be,  I hope they are not going to bring that here,  there's to many issues with it,  it sounds good on paper, but watching how these are derived and how easy value can be lost and other factors makes me think, it's something LL should not sink their teeth into.

Mine has worked like the stock market. Despite the ups and downs I am well ahead of where I was when I started. It could crash, but so can anything.

Petco accepts it at the register using the Gemini app. I buy all my pet supplies that way.

Bed Bath & Beyond, Famous Footwear, Lowes, OfficeMax, & Ulta Beauty as well.

Just recently bought a VPS with bitcoin.

Why not SL?

Not to mention weird things like the Eth (+gas) I paid for the Urbit planet I just set up. If anybody wants to complain about anything it should be Ethereum gas. :P

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On 1/30/2021 at 1:46 PM, Chic Aeon said:

I have a few thoughts on this, just using the  Mollymews quote as a starting place.

 

1. This was mentioned in another thread last week.  SL may not be the super shiny NEW thing that it once was and yes, so many of us want EEP to just disappear or at least be able to be ignored in the viewer as is is now -- permanently, but there is a huge crop of folks with many thousands of USD invested in SL and there is nowhere else for them to go.   Most don't want VR gear and very very few are willing to start over and "invest" that all again.  So while new folks aren't coming in that much and old folks are leaving the planet any decline will likely be a very slow one.  

2. Creators DO HAVE THE TOOLS to make complete credible and lovely "game assets" in SL. They choose not to because for a big segment of the population -- "pretty sells".  ArcTan is most likely very dead now, which is sad but it would have been a hellish thing on implementation with virtual riots most likely -- so hopefully consumer education will get creators to pay a bit more attention and at least retopo the render mesh they buy from the web. 

3. Just now, I got an email from the Sansar Discord group. I get them when the message is to "everybody".  Lacie is back in Sansar from SL and I am sure the Sansar folks are very happy about that. I don't know if she was let go from SL or left of her own accord, but I am happy that she found a place to nest as she didn't want to leave Sansar during those rounds of firings. She was the only one that the general public knew of that was MOVED rather than fired. 

4. I hadn't read this thread before today and didn't really know what it was about but when I searched for a thread with "acquired" as the term it showed up and so I read. Learned a few things so happy about that. Yes, it was stated somewhere officially that this was a leveraged buyout so the new folks have likely very little of their own money on the line.

They do have a fair list of other companies that they own (someone sent me a screenshot in an email the other night). The only name I recognized was Goldman Sachs which is a "transaction banking" company. There were also a few listings dealing apparently with sound (not sure why I remember those but I was mostly looking for an SL relationship which I can see now is most likely NOT there :D). 

 

I think the idea that Tilia was the "real" purchase is likely correct. Personally I don't care if the new company makes "improvements". I think we are fine without bright new shinies . I haven't been crashing nearly as often (hear that knocking on the desktop?) so hopefully the worst is over. As I said on another thread, just keep the infrastructure going; that's the most important thing. 

If they do that, and then later if Tilia does for them what they want -- they could sell just SL to someone else who might actually CARE.   Fingers crossed.  

 

the new folks have likely very little of their own money on the line.

Yes, they have what George Soros calls OPM, "other people's money," which is the very best, as long as you can get those other people to listen to your advice and spend on what you want to fund.

I'm also taking away from your post that those "other people" who spent thousands of dollars are...us. That is, there is a fairly large continent of people over the years who have spent thousands of dollars on SL. Some have made it back; others haven't, and left; still others don't care. We're not viewed as investors. We're viewed as customers paying for a niche, high-cost product called "tier for a region" -- server space -- mainly. That server space is like a very high-end online store that displays what Amazon or Etsy displays but in an even more refined, niche, 3D manner. This might or might not be "the future of the Internet as a whole" as Philip believed, but I actually don't think that yarn is why these new people invested in SL. They invested in it because it is a profitable business. A weird, niche one, but profitable. And maybe with some better care and attention or investment -- although it has had plenty of that already! -- it could kept viable and made to stay profitable.

The total of all our investments -- all of us who have bought anything from Linden Lab ever, whether a premium account, Linden dollars, the taxes that they get from Marketplace sales, and most of all sims and parcels -- is likely more than the investment the original venture capitalists put in. So it's not trivial. But we don't have stock, we cannot vote at stock holders' meetings, we cannot trade any "shares" even on an "internal market".

 

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On 1/27/2021 at 11:19 PM, Lucia Nightfire said:

As long as there are Boomers & Gen-Xers with money who either have low expectations or no MMO experience, SL will always have an audience.

As long as there's anyone with interest in virtual worlds and literally no real competition, rather!

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6 hours ago, Cinos Field said:

As long as there's anyone with interest in virtual worlds and literally no real competition, rather!

A majority of SL's userbase isn't just "anyone". They are on the more "elderly" end of the spectrum.

And if interest isn't money, then the bills don't get paid and the lights go out.

Or worse, the lights get sold to a wolf in sheep's clothing holding company in investor's clothing who strips the desired/usable components out and sells the rest for scrap.

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38 minutes ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

A majority of SL's userbase isn't just "anyone". They are on the more "elderly" end of the spectrum.

And if interest isn't money, then the bills don't get paid and the lights go out.

Or worse, the lights get sold to a wolf in sheep's clothing holding company in investor's clothing who strips the desired/usable components out and sells the rest for scrap.

Hm, that's not my experience. Most people I meet are in their 30s, which I'd dearly hope doesn't make us elderly... 😰

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2 hours ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

A majority of SL's userbase isn't just "anyone". They are on the more "elderly" end of the spectrum.

I feel like this isn't true. The steady stream of IMVU users we get are mainly users in their early 20's.

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On 1/26/2021 at 1:04 AM, Nika Talaj said:

What's notable from my nearsighted view is that none of these three have visible credentials in virtual worlds.  Zero.  The board is well equipped to quietly develop Tilia into ... something ...but ill-equipped to help SL in any way other than to occasionally throw some money over the fence.

I say "quietly" because although I'm not terribly stupid and am watching carefully, I have no concrete idea of what they intend to do with Tilia.  Of course, I'm a finance ignoramus.  If they made more noise about Mr. Date's joining the board, it is likely that they would attract the attention of many folks who would immediately deduce why this group wanted Tilia enough to buy LL.

My greatest concern would be a repeat of the story of 'Metacreations'. That's the company that originally created Poser and Bryce - 3D art tools that were precursors to Daz3d. I suspect a LOT of creatives in SL are aware of these platforms, even if they don't remember Metacreations.

One moment back around 2000 or so, Metacreations was on top toe hobbyist 3D world. Well situated to be the developer behind the tools that every 3D artist started with. They could have ridden that to overcome even 'big names' used by professional outfits if they'd played it right - if everyone learns on your tools, and uses them anytime they leave work because the pro app costs $10,000 and your app is $100... you have an opportunity to gain ground if you dive in with some bridging tools - which they did. They put out 2 3D modeling tools, Hexagon and Carrera (I think that's the name). They were just starting on the path of making tools that 'early professionals' would pick, a foot in the door as the market for needing 3D artists for gaming and movies was just starting to grow by leaps and bounds...

 

Then some pointy haired boss decided that the most important thing the company had was a little app to display products on websites in a 3D view... and they sold off or canned everything else to focus on that. They literally did this right as the boxes were shipping out the door on the release of the much hyped and anticipated Carrera, which it turned out, was a pretty solid powerhouse of a 3D modeling app for it's day... but which died the moment the package hit my doorstep...

Poser is now a mostly dead app long since surpassed by Daz3d. And Daz3d and Blender are basically the space any non-corporate 3D artist lives in. Hexagon and Bryce got bought by Daz3d, but they let them slowly die off with no support because Daz's talents lie elsewhere (they're a power house at marketing 3D models). And you've probably never even seen that 3D widget... I don't think it ever even made it out the door before the company closed.

 

Tilia looks like it could be an 'arrived to late to the party' answer to blockchain. It's like that 3D product widget. It's neat, and could have uses... but on it's own it's not going to make a dent against bigger fish.

But if some fool thinks it's the goose for their golden egg, they might cannibalize everything else LLs has done to prop it up, and then watch their money dry up...

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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52 minutes ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

My greatest concern would be a repeat of the story of 'Metacreations'. That's the company that originally created Poser and Bryce - 3D art tools that were precursors to Daz3d. I suspect a LOT of creatives in SL are aware of these platforms, even if they don't remember Metacreations.

One moment back around 2000 or so, Metacreations was on top toe hobbyist 3D world. Well situated to be the developer behind the tools that every 3D artist started with. They could have ridden that to overcome even 'big names' used by professional outfits if they'd played it right - if everyone learns on your tools, and uses them anytime they leave work because the pro app costs $10,000 and your app is $100... you have an opportunity to gain ground if you dive in with some bridging tools - which they did. They put out 2 3D modeling tools, Hexagon and Carrera (I think that's the name). They were just starting on the path of making tools that 'early professionals' would pick, a foot in the door as the market for needing 3D artists for gaming and movies was just starting to grow by leaps and bounds...

 

Then some pointy haired boss decided that the most important thing the company had was a little app to display products on websites in a 3D view... and they sold off or canned everything else to focus on that. They literally did this right as the boxes were shipping out the door on the release of the much hyped and anticipated Carrera, which it turned out, was a pretty solid powerhouse of a 3D modeling app for it's day... but which died the moment the package hit my doorstep...

Poser is now a mostly dead app long since surpassed by Daz3d. And Daz3d and Blender are basically the space any non-corporate 3D artist lives in. Hexagon and Bryce got bought by Daz3d, but they let them slowly die off with no support because Daz's talents lie elsewhere (they're a power house at marketing 3D models). And you've probably never even seen that 3D widget... I don't think it ever even made it out the door before the company closed.

 

Tilia looks like it could be an 'arrived to late to the party' answer to blockchain. It's like that 3D product widget. It's neat, and could have uses... but on it's own it's not going to make a dent against bigger fish.

But if some fool thinks it's the goose for their golden egg, they might cannibalize everything else LLs has done to prop it up, and then watch their money dry up...

 

That is a very usual story to analyze, but I bet you can find dozens of others in other types of fields that reveal the same truth: all software consists of iterations, bugs and patches endlessly, until they die, replaced by other softwares and patches -- oh, and features.

I think what LL stumbled on is that virtual worlds are more than software. But there will always be those who argue how LL's software works best when there are no avatars on the sims.

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My 2 cents:

If the new owners are only interested in Tilia, they still need SL for now. They have to showcase something to let new parties see it works succesfully.

The moment Tilia starts to make enough money outside SL, the owners have two choises:
1. lock down SL. Or
2. Keep it in good nick until they found some people who want to invest in SL and buy it from them.

If they want to go for option 1. We are in good nick until Tilia starts to heavily succeed outside SL. That takes at least a few years IMHO.
If they want to go for option 2: They will have to keep investing in development of SL (even if it might be on the back burner) to keep it at least a bit relevant in the platform world.

And of course there is always the possibility that they want to keep SL going and these quiet months are because a lot of brainstorming is going on about in what direction SL should go.

So all in all, the sky will keep falling at least in the near future, say 2-3 years.
For now, good enough for me.

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19 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

[SNIP]

So you have to study how this guy got appointed, which is by friending Elizabeth Warren, whose brainchild this government agency is, who is our premiere socialist Queen (AOC is only a duchess, really, in one country). 

Now, whatever you think about Elizabeth Warren, and whatever your arguments are about how Americans don't understand socialism, and don't get it, and think these benighted souls believe socialism is all these other bad things that in fact aren't it (a debate I'm happy to have with you as long as we are in a free speech setting), you'd have to concede that Elizabeth Warren is not an asset-stripping vulture. Oh, she's not Hillary!

I'm not a socialist, or social democrat, or democratic socialist, I'm just a Democrat, and the Democratic Party is not hostile to business and is for regulating business, not taking it over.

So accordingly, read these Wikis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raj_Date
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Financial_Protection_Bureau

 

 

So in terms of studying the politics of all this, here's the admission of Warren today that she subscribes to the Stalinist "the cadres decide everything" theory in her "march through the institutions". Raj is one of those cadres deciding everything. 

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