The reason for success of Second Life and its early growth was because it introduced the tools of online creation in 3D environment. That same thing is the reason for massive success of Minecraft. Its very easy to build and create. Concept is very simple. Tools created to simplify creation while at the same time they'd still enable advanced use is the good way to go forward.
It is amazing that in within the same space/environment we can socialize, learn,create, test, market and sell our creations. And most importantly in this same space we can meet, share ideas, invent and create together with people from all over the world. Second Life is that space where we can do that and much more. Second Life is a space that also represents a pool of global talent of different skills-sets. Such online space if further improved or if any other new is developed that is based on those same concepts that make it easy enough for general population to socialize and learn to create within it can become the future of how we connect, cooperate and work together on a global scale.
Second Life offered people ability to create things inside this online shared space that is 3D with unique appeal because it is similar to our known natural environment. Inside Second Life we do not just create but we can also learn how to create. In SL everyone can share experience how to create and collaborate together.
Linden Lab could do very well with Second Life or any other similar project if they as organization gained a deeper understanding of process of human creativity and focused their energy and investments into creation of new and even more advanced tools for SL Residents to use and create with. New tools can foster further innovation and creativity of the masses that has so beautifully been expressed through SL. I believe LL as organization currently still has more than enough revenue to dedicate some small percent into creating new small creative teams who would explore new possibilities, experiment and develop new tools in-world.
With Second Life being today an unique global pool of talent and an amazing educational environment, LL has an unique opportunity to learn to mobilize and promote creativity and energy of the masses to further expand on what already works.
In my opinion LL could restructure into a learning organization and focus more on development of tools and keep improving existing ones iteratively.
SL is alive and it is ever evolving and should be treated like a living organism that needs help at its evolution. LL employees should be encouraged to organize into small teams behind creative new projects. Each project would implement something new into SL. The teams should make it possible to include more people to participate in the creative process and help with the projects. SL is full of creative and passionate people who would like to see SL grow and succeed even further.
SL needs new tools and things to be able to keep evolving just like a living organisms need mutations to gain new abilities to survive in ever changing environment. LL as an organization also keeps evolving and changing. Whoever is operating the LL space-ship or setting up a new one needs to be aware that the product like SL needs to be improved iteratively and this process of creation can never stop.
Concept of a virtual world as a tool or space where people can use set of tools to make magic happen is similar as the concept of a computer as a tool with its ever evolving programming languages that enable magic to happen. When computer went mass market it was not yet known what will come of it. I believe its similar for 3D simulated environments. Currently the best is still Second Life. There isn't anything like it.
In my free time from usual work in SL I am working on a creative and educative experiment. Through this experiment in SL I want to see what happens when people are put in a social environment where they are encouraged to freely share knowledge, experience, information, help each other at setting common goals to create and enable new things for the community that they co-create (from simpler to more complex systems).
For now its a small hobby project in-world of which goal is to create a FREE, easy and fun way for people to learn how to use LSL scripting language. It will feature fun, easy tasks that upon completion will earn players levels. LEVELS serve as a proof of their process and status in within the community. As players will level up they will acquire more and more scripting abilities (computer coding skills and understanding of it). After tasks for reaching 1st 3 LEVELs I'll release/announce the education game in LGH SL group with 15000+ members and everyone who reach LEVEL 3 will be able to suggest how to make the game even more fun and easy for newcomers who are taking their 1st steps into a world of coding. As the community forms it will provide valuable feedback on how to further improve and add LEVELS to reach to the game. Together we will create mini script products, simplified standards that we will work and learn on. If it takes off it will be interesting thing to see what the power of creative community can create.