Op/Ed: Linden Empire in Jeopardy???

by Alphaville Herald on 15/03/08 at 1:05 pm

by Barbie Starr, SL and RL Dominatrix

Build an empire. They will follow. Lead the lost souls to the light. A Master’s dream to have his harem at his feet doing his bidding.The goals, the dreams, the future. Then – LIGHTS OUT – The Master is gone!

Philip Linden, the King of Linden Lab, a God in the eyes of many in our small, yet very large, metaverse, is now coming down to earth and taking a seat next to everyone else. No one can replace anyone in this world. Not in any walk of life. We are all individuals. The Founder of Second Life will always be the founder, and in many hearts and minds he cannot be replaced by another. Let’s talk seriously about this.

Take a look at anyone who is in a leadership position. God/Goddess, Kings/Queens, Master/Mistress, Boss, Religions Leaders… they all have followers. What happens when one of these people die? Everyone MOURNS. What happens when a King goes to battle with his Gladiator slaves? The King is protected, sure, but what if they fail to protect him? He dies! Do these people feel grief? Yes. So much that it could kill any faith or hope inside them to continue with anything that that King may have wanted to pursue.


Will Philip give up his bear to a new Governor? Or will he stay Governor Linden?

Many countries have failed when their King dies. Philip Linden once said, “I’m not building a game. I’m building a new country.” A country has a leader. Philip you are it! You built it. It IS you! You need to maintain your position or your country will fall. All good men come to the aid of their country.


Who is gonna take the place of Philip Linden? Can someone really sail is vessel and keep his dreams intact?

Philip Linden/Rosedale: the creator, founder, a man with a dream is Second Life. Everything that everyone has put into Second Life is what he originally dreamed it to be. The online community made by its residents.

Ok, so he succeeded. Sure. And yes Philip Linden does think this is a lifelong dream. We don’t want you to leave. This is not a public company. We want to follow your dream. This is what screams out from people in Second Life. I hope that those of you who knew the hard work and dedication put into Second Life by this great leader in our ocean called the metaverse. He has created a world within the world, a place like no other. A place that people call their “Second Life”.


This is a plea to Philip Linden to please stay put. Don’t leave, the damage may be irrevocable. Linden Lab is not a public company for a reason. An IPO would ruin what’s started. From personal experience I have seen people build dreams and once they build them and leave them for others they just are not that dream anymore. Are you ready to give up your goals and dreams and step down from a life you created for so many?

You are the leader, Philip. The Master at what you have created. The BDSM community and online business share something very much in common. The online world needs leaders to lead them. When a Master takes on a harem and then leaves the online world. Those slaves all die inside. They lose faith and direction. Is this what will become of Second Life?

Those who have followed your lead, will they all become lost and alienated once you step down and give your throne to a new King they don’t even know? Because he has experience? With Philip Linden at the helm of this ship, experience is not what’s needed. Dedication is the key here. The King can be a great leader. All he really needs is an adviser and a court. A King doesn’t go to “King” school. He simply is “THE KING” of HIS country.

Philip Linden, to please do not leave your Kingdom. Please stay the Master of your dreams. Do not hand it to another person. You will simply be taking all your goals and dreams you’ve made and worked hard for and plopping them down the toilet. Second Life is all that it is because of your hard work and dedication. Someone else did not make it, and if you give them your throne, they will not treat it with as much respect as you have.

Take a look at the past years and your dedication. Are you ready to give this up and step down? Are you ready for someone to take the helm of your ship and change course? If you are ready for this change, are you ready to take the chance of Second Life’s course changing so drastically that even as a chairperson you may be outvoted as time goes by? Taking a seat on the side may not seem as much a big deal to you. It will be to those who see you as an idol or the God of this metaverse; the master brain behind the scene. As the Master of Second Life, the creator, you being the CEO gives you the ability to be in the public eye. Stepping down from CEO and becoming Chairman on the inside probably might be a good decision if you were Steve Jobs. This article is a message to state we don’t want to lose you Philip. We’ll miss you. We want you where you are. Do not alienate your public. The residents of Second Life want you to be their leader.

Residents of Second Life are truly concerned about you stepping down from CEO position and leaving the position as their leader and out of the public eye. Here are some thoughts from a few of my friends about your departure.

Nancy Lei

Merry Pranksters, Nancy Lei says “I wish I knew him…but one thing in sl and rl is change. :( Sad to hear he is leaving, though… maybe it got too big!”

Mel Melville

Black Rose Stables, Mel Melville says “Seems like he’s selling us out even further, though. I still remember the line “Second Life Created and ‘owned’ by it’s residents.” Pfft, it may have been once, but no more.”

Rivers Kyomoon

Rivermoon Fashions, Rivers Kyomoon stated “I personally feel that the CEO should stay in his post and put right the problems in SL. Over the past 7 or 8 months, some very bad decisions have been made regarding the development of SL. Among these poor decisions: Voice was a seriously unpopular move. All it seems to do is make SL more laggy. Windlight, while being very pretty, was not a priority. Age verification is an exercise in futility and will not deter the under 18s who are in SL. All three of these projects have been derided by the vast majority of Second Life residents. While these poor decisions are implemented: Linden Labs have ignored repeated pleas, often in the form of petitions, to fix the problems in SL, which many people see as a priority. Access to support for ALL residents has dwindled to virtually nothing and those people who pay premium repeatedly say that support requests are ignored. Content and intellectual rights theft is on the increase and little seems to be done about it. Linden Labs MUST take some responsibility and that is not going to be achieved by a change in the CEO. Second Life should be the future of the internet. Ten years from now, Second Life should BE the internet. That can only happen if Linden Labs prioritizes making SL a stable, reliable platform where it’s residents can do business safely. They also need to realize that many of us residents have invested time and money in SL. We want to see SL succeed – not get flushed down the toilet. We want the platform to succeed. Again, the CEO leaving doesn’t exactly instill confidence in us that it has a secure future. Philip Linden had a vision for SL. He should stay and see it through, but prioritize making SL a stable platform before adding new shiny things to it. I don’t know how many times I have thought I would quit SL, because the lag, or vendors not working was making things impossible for me, but I have repeatedly stuck it out and continue to do so because I believe in SL. Philip Linden should stay where he is and hold up his honor to continue supporting Second Life as the leader of it’s community. Being the owner of Rivermoon Fashions, a small business in second life is not easy but its the only business I have.”

DD Designs, Daniel Dunderdale says “I believe that our leader Philip Linden has done a wonderful job balancing new technology with the old in Second Life and I would hate to see him leave his position as CEO. I understand it must be a constant battle on all fronts to maintain the quality we have in Second Life and many take for granted the job it must take to coordinate a staff to maintain this balance. “

Lord Olaf’s Merchantile, Olaf Barbosa says “I hate to see any founder, creator step down from CEO because they had the vision and drive to start what had never been done before. Philip you started something that is fantastic you made a place where the whole world comes together and interact with each other in a way that wasn’t possible before. You created a world that is just to awesome to describe and is ever changing. By stepping down as CEO and bringing in an outsider i feel LL could lose it drive for forward movement, you have the insight and vison to make SL even greater would be a shame to stop now.”

Argon Moran

Mystical, Argon Moran says “Well in Real life or Second Life it is his baby. Because this is something that Philip Linden created in his real life it’s not right to build a dream and leave those who follow that dream behind. A Master has no right to build a harem and then leave them without any supervision or control. You are showing your irresponsibility to other’s as well as yourself. Philip Linden created a dream and a vision. He is the visionary who needs to fulfill the it.”

Many businesses in the past have taken this leap and succeeded. Many have taken it and failed. We hope for the best because we do not want to see Linden Labs or Second Life fail. We also don’t want to see the dream that was created and founded by Philip Linden crumble because he gave up the reigns to a new person.

All in all, as you can see, these residents really don’t think it serves Second Life for you to leave your position. The bottom line is of course: another risk. It may or may not be a good decision for the future of Second Life. But the residents of Second Life truly see this as you being their leader, creator, and founder. They really do not want to see you step down.

We understand you want to make Second Life a better place. Do you truly think that stepping down as leader of this world is the right decision? You have created not only a country but a whole new world Philip. If this was a company just starting out and it wasn’t molded yet, just being formed, it might be okay to put a marketing person in the place of the founder. Your followers do not want to be lead by a new leader. You stepping down, though retaining a position on the board, removes you from the leadership position in their eyes. In the end, what is Second Life without the vision you created it to be for their residents!

27 Responses to “Op/Ed: Linden Empire in Jeopardy???”

  1. Ceruladon Odriscoll

    Mar 15th, 2008

    The King must find and teach the Prince to run his planet when he is gone. I guess everyone thinks that the new Prince will not have to answer to the council “board”. Stepping down and being on the board is different than leaving completely. What do you think George Lucas is running the day to day? While some may think Mr. Lucas has “fell off” in several ways the universe is still infinate. Second Life is infinate. When you reach that kind of level you have to make moves. If you all have so much belief in Philip Linden then trust him. I move to trust and support him as long as he comes to visit us, rub elbows and listen.

  2. Brendan Cale

    Mar 15th, 2008

    I’m kinda glad El Presidente` is stepping down. Second Life is heading in a direction I did not want it to.

  3. ichabod Antfarm

    Mar 15th, 2008

    “The BDSM community and online business share something very much in common. The online world needs leaders to lead them. When a Master takes on a harem and then leaves the online world. Those slaves all die inside. They lose faith and direction. Is this what will become of Second Life?”

    This statement made my soul shriek. Thankfully, SL isn’t all slaves and masters so the dying off won’t be quite on the scale you imagine; nor will it be anything more than cause for celebration.

  4. Ann Otoole

    Mar 15th, 2008

    kapor is runni8ng the show and using LL resources for his stupidly lame way too late for riches search engine development. utterly lame. soon we will all have to have facebook accounts to be visible in search if this direction holds up.

    i have seen very few CEOs willingly step down unless they have a reason. one reason could be to avoid personal liability for something. but its too late. for all SL’s shining good and awful bad, Phillip is the guy that got it all rolling.

    i wish kapor would sell out his interests and go away. we might see some issues become fixable if kapor was out of the way.

    maybe corey had the true vision to see what was coming and bailed while the plane was still high enough.

  5. Razrcut Brooks

    Mar 15th, 2008

    I do not get this article as it is overly dramatic…Phil is NOT leaving SL . His new title, Chairman of the Board IS a self-promotion.

    From Wikipedia: A chief executive officer (CEO) or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer, reporting to the Board of Directors and/or the Organization’s Owner(s).

  6. Prokofy Neva

    Mar 15th, 2008

    This is pretty awful stuff. If Philip is reading it, I hope he runs in knock-kneed terror from the Monster he has created.

  7. Archie Lukas

    Mar 15th, 2008

    I’ve mailed Pixeleen the last photo of phil Linden as we sat together in Svarga; the night (UK) that the news hit the hacks desks.

    He was quiet and philosphical; what a better place to say goodbye than Svarga?

    You can use it FoC if you give me credit for the photo
    or pay a release fee of $500L

  8. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Mar 15th, 2008

    Did you really need to compare this to BDSM? I mean really – is this your only focus in life? Is there nothing else you can think of?

    BDSM has its place in the world of analogies, but this is not it.

    I’m going to quote Prok:

    “This is pretty awful stuff. If Philip is reading it, I hope he runs in knock-kneed terror from the Monster he has created.”

    That’s right.
    I am agreeing and siding with Prok.

  9. Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    Mar 15th, 2008

    Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrromotions for everybody!

  10. typical

    Mar 15th, 2008

    Expect LL to go “public” soon, and have to do what the shareholders want to have done.

    It will be sanitized, standardized, and packaged as “family friendly”.

    The old SL is dead, and if you’ve been around for a while, you’ll see that the “pulse” is gone.

    Now comes the monetization. I wonder who will buy the majority holdings? My bets are either on Sony (after their @Home fails badly), or Electronic Arts.

    Either way, SL is doomed. It was fun while it lasted. But once you have to please the shareholders, and not the residents, it’s done for.

  11. Neo Citizen

    Mar 15th, 2008

    The next time they let Barbie Starr write an article, they should make sure she at least has some basic background in what she’s writing about. A CEO just deals with day to day business operations. In most cases, that means it’s a maintenance post. It’s an important job, but it’s not the lead role. He does NOT get to drive the boat. Philip Linden is NOT leaving Linden Lab, Second Life is NOT in the toilet as of this moment, and with Philip freed up to actually run the company instead of dealing with daily nuts and bolts, things are going to get BETTER, not WORSE. The man with the vision that started it all is going to be freed up to put 100% of that vision back into Linden Lab instead of burning his hours dealing with purchase requisitions, the details of technical deployment and tweaking the employee insurance policy coverage.

    Jesus Christ, people, get a grip.

  12. hurf durf

    Mar 16th, 2008

    holy crap this article sucks.

    instead of covering important shit like how FurNation has a yiff sim in the teen grid, SLH idiotically scribbles together a shitty article about how Phillip Linden has promoted himself with the primise that SL is dead. No, as long as retarded furries pay $50,000 a month, SL will not die.

  13. Cai Pirinha

    Mar 16th, 2008

    Emh, Neo Citizen … Barbie Starr is quite right about the role of an CEO, and you are not. (Although I have to say that she sounds a bit whiny for a dominatrix :) )

    In simple words, the CEO develops and implements the strategic plan for a company and heads the management team that runs the business; it is the lead role. The Chairman heads the the board of directors that represents the people that own the company (“shareholders”). This board just oversees the company and meets occasionally to see if the company is doing fine – it does not run anything, but normally only steps in if things go wrong in order to protect the investment of the shareholders.

    That being said, in the technology industry it is not uncommon that the CEO changes once a company has reached a certain size. Many founders have an engineering or programming background which is perfect for making inventions and getting great new ideas. However, once a firm has several 100 people a good part of the job becomes organizing and controlling things, which are often simply not the tasks that many founders are really good at/interested in.

  14. Kanomi

    Mar 16th, 2008

    This is a girlishly silly article, one lacking in understanding of the business world, and instead filled with plaintive fappery and gushy hysterics.

    While it is possible that a CEO can step down and things can improve, it is usually a sign of something horribly awry; and for a company that is not even public, it is nefariously ominous indeed.

    Quite often it can mean the backers and silent partners are exerting control, and wish to earn their invested capital back.

    Say hello to mandatory premium accounts for basic functionality like say…teleporting, profiles, searching? By early 2009, latest?

  15. Corona

    Mar 16th, 2008

    Either way, SL is doomed. It was fun while it lasted. But once you have to please the shareholders, and not the residents, it’s done for.

    Typical may be right in this

    but I would imagine that if the way to please the shareholders lies in increasing the number of residents then that will only happen if the service is improved

    ‘family freindly’ is perhaps inevitable, for the main part of sL – but the open sourcing of sims will ensure that there will always be places that are not so freindly for those with a domesticated mentality

  16. Aloe Stradling

    Mar 16th, 2008

    ((“The BDSM community and online business share something very much in common. The online world needs leaders to lead them. When a Master takes on a harem and then leaves the online world. Those slaves all die inside. They lose faith and direction. Is this what will become of Second Life?”

    This statement made my soul shriek. Thankfully, SL isn’t all slaves and masters so the dying off won’t be quite on the scale you imagine; nor will it be anything more than cause for celebration.))

    SL is NOT all slaves and masters, Agreed. We’re just the only part that counts.

    Not true, I jsut wanted to snark for once, I’m always so nicey-nice on here.

  17. Genoa

    Mar 16th, 2008

    This is a bad sign. Probably means Philip got “kicked upstairs” to the Board with a position that doesn’t mean much. He no longer has operational control over LL.

  18. ichabod Antfarm

    Mar 16th, 2008

    “SL is NOT all slaves and masters, Agreed. We’re just the only part that counts.”

    Meh, furries can count also. Heck, I have been known to count on occasion. Check it out: 3 2 1 – pwned.

  19. Anti-BDSM Demonstrator

    Mar 16th, 2008

    @Everyone that are ALL OF A SUDDEN siding with Prok on the BDSM angles:

    Hack hack, Cough cough, Puke puke

    I hate to say this but…I DO TOO!

    “BDSM has its place in the world of analogies, but this is not it.”

    I like this statement as well. Speaks volumes.

    BDSM, like Gemini Rotaru and her Zodiac freakshow, optimize the bic lighter generation and other *** packing junkies that polute the metaverse.

    But remember, BDSM has no voice – they are all bound and gagged. :O

    Second Life will continue on and the disposables will be cast out.

    “SL is NOT all slaves and masters, Agreed. We’re just the only part that counts.”

    I disagree with this statement – everyone is ENSLAVED to Lab that joins the Life.

    And the BDSM folks that ****-off with rubber gloves behind their crusted keyboards only stay collared for insignicant moments of their vacuum based RLives anyhow. That isn’t slavery in the classical sense.

    It’s more like a sickness

    Good Luck Philip!

    Realplayer the Sequel is waiting to be reinvented for YOUR master

  20. DinkyHockerShootsSmack!

    Mar 17th, 2008


    Someone get me a case of Kleenex.

    No, not for tears of sadness. For these tears of laughter that are streaming down my face after reading this.

    The kicker for me was when Prok only had a very short reply. That alone tells you just how fucked up this “article” is. When Prok doesn’t write a furious and long-winded reply, especially when it’s about one of her pet peeves, you KNOW your stuff sucks bad. I keep getting this mental image of an alley cat turning it’s nose up at a meal because it smells so bad.

    Please won’t someone think of the BDSMers?


  21. duh

    Mar 17th, 2008

    The sims will never be open-sourced, because the security can NOT be guaranteed. Any object that passes into an “open-source” sim will be able to be copied. No questions asked. As for money? Talk about a joke there. Are sims going to be able to issue their own money to residents, and then have that money transfer over to the main grid when they teleport over? Anything that goes into the servers memory can be copied, modified, stolen and re-sold. It would be a great way to copy and stel every bit of content in SL to just start up an open-source sim, grab an item, and teleport into the new sim. Once it’s in that sims database, just copy it down and disperse it. There is zero security with the open-sim concept as it’s being developed at the moment. None at all. Item copiers and texture rippers are a main part of the reason I stopped making things, and refuse to make anything ever again. There’s no point. None at all. The ONLY thing that can’t be copied with these devices is scripts, and really, I expect to see that very shortly. The open sourcing of sims would only speed that. All it takes is one group of Woodbury residents or PN to start a “private” sim, find exploits in the software, grab any items they want to exploit onto their own sim, and let the havok unfold. An open-sim is an unsecure sim.
    No, SL has seen the good days, and now it’s flailing in it’s efforts to stay alive. The “pulse” is gone. Nobody has an interest in anythign anymore. Nobody wants to buy from content creators, because they can get a cheaper copied items elsewhere, and nobody wants to create anymore because their stuff just gets ripped off. Add in the investors wanting their return on their investments, and having to “keep the numbers up” to make the profit margins, and you’ll just see climbing tier fees, climbing Linden exchange rates (after the current residents sell off their current holdings of them), and a mentality of “cheap cheap cheap” hits the grid.
    I’ve absolutely given up any hope in LL being able to reverse this trend. A few of the game mechanics might be fixed, and that will benefit the company that buys out SL greatly. But for the current residents, they’re pretty much fucked.
    The first thing LL shoudl be working on is content protection. There is ZERO incentive to make anything anymore when someone can come along with a bot, make an exact duplicate, and run a texture grabber to grab the original textures. Permissions be damned. Content creation has already dropped greatly. Again, the ONLY people with any product security are scripters, and I see that security wall being broken very soon too.
    So with the current state of the grid, maybe replacing Philip was a good idea, but it wont’ save LL. That chance has long since passed.

    Fix content security, or watch it all continue to slide away.

  22. anon

    Mar 17th, 2008

    Tenbux says “Anti-BDSM Demonstrator” is a furry.

  23. @anti

    Mar 17th, 2008

    “optimize the bic lighter generation”

    *cough*you owe your SL to that generation buddy*coughcough*

  24. Marc Woebegone

    Mar 17th, 2008

    Good Riddens! To the Hawker outside the circus tent! Good Riddens…

  25. shockwave yareach

    Mar 17th, 2008

    LL is not doomed, SL isn’t collapsing, Phillip isn’t quitting to beg for C code outside Stanford, and we aren’t being sold to Sony.

    Geez people, get a grip. Phillip is just hiring someone who is better at people wrangling than he is for that part of the job. That’s all. I doubt any company would want to buy LL either because they know they won’t be able to “sanitize” it without destroying it and losing all their money. IPO, maybe. Sold to Sony, not a chance. Sony or any other company knows they’d never get their cash back again.

  26. Anon

    Mar 18th, 2008

    @ duh

    “Sniff and sobs”. Poor greedy content creator…..

  27. Serendipity Seraph

    Mar 28th, 2010

    I very much disagree with the notion that SL will fail without Phillip at the helm. Any really viable enterprise of any kind whatsoever has to be built in a way that it can outlast any or all of its founders or any particular person. If SL was not so constructed then it was not well designed as an organization.

    A lot of this article is a very strong case of pedestal building and making even a very great and accomplished person like Phillip into a god. He is a wonderful human being and a great visionary and leader. But he is just one man, one human being. He is not the complete essence of something as deeply developed and complex as Second Life. No human being could be.

    Many a leader will eventually grow tired of the hero-worship and being the focus of so much attention that really belongs to what has been built and built by not only that leader but many many others. It is not a comfortable position to be in forever.

    Lastly, what SL becomes is up to its inhabitants, up to us, as well as up to its current Linden Labs corporate leadership.

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