Since the coronavirus COVID19 and its effects there is an increase in active users as a lot of old Residents are coming back in Second Life. Putting the immense human tragedy from a global pandemic aside, there is an opportunity for Second Life to get second life.
With the right strategy focused on growth and a healthy appetite for risk taking Second Life could once again get back on a path towards becoming a global leader in the field of online collaborative 3D spaces featuring emergent virtual economy. That is what a virtual worlds are.
In tech world there is only one way to become dominant player. All the tech companies in tech industry know about it and are in constant HOT pursuit of it. The it is the focus on development. Development creates value and value attracts consumers / users. As soon as a company stops developing and constantly upgrading and improving the product it starts loosing out against the competition.
Microsoft knows it...
Google knows it...
Facebook knows it...
Amazon knows it...
Everyone knows that value is in research, innovation & development. The most successful business is one of which core focus is on value generation. All the best tech companies are competing for the best developers to be able to provide the best value. Second Life could get & attract the best human resources for free but only if it could assure the content developers that it is safe to produce intellectual property in Second Life and that they can have certain creative freedom.
Linden Lab has an unique advantage or at least what could become its main advantage in the fact that Second Life already has a concentration of techie people & designers... With so many talented people from all over the world being able to participate at value creation - building the content within Second Life as a platform. Second Life has a natural force of creativity. Many of us who created products for Second Life are prepared to assist and help Linden Lab in any way the company makes it possible for us to help.
To become a world leader as was the core mission and reason for early success of Second Life, Linden Lab should re-focus its core metrics of measuring success. Linden Lab should instead of of concentrating on corporate profit focus on Second Life GDP (gross domestic product). If Linden Lab focused on all activities that would boost GDP they would on overall on the long run make even more corporate profit while at the same time enjoy the reputation of creating many millionaires all over the world. That is where the value is. If Second Life became a more open platform more engineers and talented people would find their home in. When developers can make millions it inspires many who also flock to create valuable content.
(clear competition is Roblox that is showing LL an obvious way to go)
Linden Lab should employ more of engineers and focus on creating and improving the creation tools of the Second Life Platform. Focus should be on on making it easier for people to script, build and design. LL should put those engineers developers of tools for other developers in best room they have and give them the best food, respect and care. ^-^
Basic principle of growth of any system in life is that once the progress and growth stops the system gets on a a path towards slow decay and eventual death. Same is in tech world as soon as company stops innovating and developing it shifts its trajectory from growth to decline and towards technological obsolescence.
Linden Lab successfully pivoted from unstable and declining virtual land rentals source of revenue model to a like Google App Store commission based revenue model from SL Marketplace. That was a very smart decision.
More steps that Linden Lab could take to try to get back on growth path would be:
- Further decrease the cost of land (be competitive to other companies that are making it I believe even free)
- Develop more tools for content creators, support content creators, make content creation easier & faster
- Keep updating and upgrading LSL scripting language
- DO NOT lock the new development tools and functionalities behind a paywall. That is the biggest mistake a platform for content creation can do.
A sheer example of a wrong strategy are Experiences. As a content creator I am not using it and never will. Linden Lab should have a goal to make as much people as possible to learn to use it and use it.
- LL SHOULD BE NICE TO DEVELOPERS & SHOW THAT THEY WELCOME DEVELOPERS TO THEIR PLATFORM WITH OPEN ARMS
- Developers or rather CONTENT CREATORS as we are called in Second Life are the key and detrimental component and drivers of Second Life GDP and success of SL as a platform for human self actualization, education and creation.
If Linden Lab was to shifts their focus away from developers who specialized in developing content in Second Life it might start to loose the rare ones with unique talents and skills who could make a change for the platform.
Developers, developers, developers....
As a content developer in Second Life since 2011 I would like to send a following message to Linden Lab:
Please give us free hands to innovate, accept some risks as we are also risking trusting you and giving our creative time that we could spend somewhere else and for potentially much bigger payoff. There is no progress without taking risk. Risk is part of life and its part of every growing system. One who becomes too risk averse stops growing.
LINDEN LAB could fulfill and reach the original mission for Second Life to create a creative 3D space where people from all over the world meet, learn, build, design, script, play, find work, make money, participate in a growing community & have chances to become millionaires.
The core success and vision driving and enabling Second Life's emergent growth in early days was:
YOUR IMAGINATION YOUR WORLD
And again the key to success in tech that no one else will probably better express it and in the funniest way than Steve Ballmer:
Developers, developers, developers... :-P