...I have decided that if I ever meet you in person I am not going to kick you square in the balls.
Diogenes Aurelia Kuhr
Having read the above statement, you regular readers of this blog are probably asking, "Why?"
Well, I've been catching up on reading other people's stuff and I came across a piece about a fairly recent interview that Mitch Wagner did with LL founder and newly reappointed CEO Philip Rosedale. You can find the first part of the piece here:
Additional commentary on their conversation may be found here:
Lots of people seem to think of Philip Rosedale as some kind of grand combined muse, guardian, benevolent father figure and guild leader who represents the creative spirit in SL. But I've always seen him as a flawed genius who had a great idea, and then to execute it, created a corporate culture in which the larger part of the customer base was not respected and the workers were allowed to fecklessly fart around doing what they wanted to instead of focusing on the hard work of customer service and making the product run reliably and smoothly. That's why some time ago I issued the warning that should I ever get to meet Philip in real life, first, I would shake his hand to thank him for creating the SL platform, and then I would firmly and enthusiastically plant a size 10 Corcoran boot right in his grocery sack to thank him for how he has mismanaged his creation.
For the most part, the interview with Mr. Wagner suggests that Mr. Rosedale still doesn't entirely get his own product and/or the people who use it.
Nonetheless, based on some things he has done and said since returning, I have elected to issue a reprieve to Philip's junk. If nothing else, I think he deserves it for the following statement he made in his conversation with Wagner:
"I'm back, and the company is going through a change of direction. We're really regarding the situation as serious....We've got a lot more work to do....That work isn't enjoyable in many cases, or fun. It consists of a lot of debugging and quality control that's tedious and unglamorous, but necessary."
Which brings me back to what I would like to say to Mr. Rosedale:
Thank you, Philip for the above statement. You sound like a goddamn adult and an actual leader when you talk like that. Now just translate the words into more actions. Listen to the fucking customers. Keep your staff focused on clear, practical goals; keep them on track and on schedule, and appropriately reward responsible behavior and productivity. Make this thing profitable and stable--even though, as you quite sensibly point out, doing so is a task that isn't always going to be "fun."
And hey, things could be worse. You know, SL may not be the cool thing anymore, but you've still got a hard core of engaged customers who find interesting, useful and entertaining ways to use your product. Yeah, we might not represent a massive Facebook-style audience that interacts with the product in a very superficial way. But everything doesn't have to be the subject of mass adoption--look at Playel, the great French piano maker. They only make 25 really goddam good pianos each year, instead of trying to compete with cheap Chinese piano makers who crank out thousands of OK instruments annually. Look at the whole skiing industry--it's based on a sport that only a limited audience can take on due to the necessary learning curve and the cost. Even so, lots of people make lots of money off this sport.
Please just keep these things in mind. And then you can completely forget about wearing the protective cup.