As those of you who follow Linden Lab have probably noticed, I’ve been expanding the executive team since I joined in May, 2008. Each hire has been focused on major initiatives within the Lab designed to make Second Life more reliable, more relevant and more usable.
We are reworking the user experience end-to-end. We started with the website (we recently launched a new home page which is the start of a larger redesign), are hard at work on the viewer and will shortly start redesigning the first landing locations for new users. Last week, we made two ecommerce acquisitions that will be more fully integrated into the Second Life experience as well. We have a new land store in the works. We’re developing a behind-the-firewall product for enterprise customers.
Put all these things together, and you will see we are intent upon making dramatic improvements to the Second Life platform and experience. At the same time, the team has been hard at work on stability and scalability. Last year, we halved the user hours lost to downtime in the second half of the year. But, with growth ahead, we have more to do and the team is hard at work on continued platform and network improvements to enable us to break peak concurrency records on a regular basis as we did this past Sunday when we hit 82,653. [As you know from FJ’s blog posts, it was “all hands on deck” this past weekend to ensure we delivered a stable experience to Residents. I watched the action on our internal chat channel during peak sessions on Saturday and Sunday as we broke our peak concurrency record without a hitch.]
All in all, we have a long list of ambitious projects on our “to do” list for 2009. To help us move the platform, product and the user experience forward, we’ve added two senior executives to an already excellent executive team:
Brian Michon (Michon Linden) will take on the role of VP of Core Development. Brian will be responsible for the voice, database and simulator infrastructure of the Second Life platform, scaling it to support our growth and our product expansion. Brian has over twenty years of technology experience with Fortune 500 companies. He joins us from Intuit, where he managed the development and operation of Web-based services and made popular products like TurboTax and QuickBooks easier to use and manage, both for organizations and individual consumers.
Judy Wade (Judy Linden) has come on board as VP of Strategy and Emerging Business. She’ll be responsible for working with the executive team in refining Linden Lab’s overall business strategy, including seeking out key partnerships to expand the capabilities of Second Life in key geographic and vertical markets. She joins us from Kapor Enterprises, the investment company of Linden Lab board member Mitch Kapor. Prior to Kapor Enterprises, she was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where she worked with a variety Fortune 500 companies, helping them define and implement significant strategic and organizational transformations across multiple sectors.
Brian and Judy join a stellar crew of Lindens on our executive team, including three hires I made over the past six months (in reverse order of appointment):
- Howard Linden, SVP Customer Applications, responsible for improvements to the Second Life experience and the development of new products and features that enhance the usability and overall customer experience of Second Life
- T Linden, Chief Product Officer, responsible for driving the product strategy for Second Life
- FJ Linden, SVP Global Technology, responsible for processes, systems and tools to maximize the scalability of Second Life’s network architecture
I’m really pleased and honored that we’ve been able to bring on such extraordinary individuals. Each is a great talent in their own right and together form what I feel is a superb team. Our ability to bring on such great talent is a testament to the power and potential of Second Life and to the wondrous content and experiences you – our Residents – have created.
I can tell you that going into 2009, everyone at Linden Lab is focused on making Second Life an even more important, more useful, more joyful experience for the Residents and we’re pleased Brian and Judy are joining us. Thanks to all of you for making Second Life what it is today. I look forward to all that we will accomplish together.
If you’d like post some questions, thoughts or congratulations on the Forum, you can do so here. I won’t be able to read and respond until after 5PM Pacific, but I’ll jump in then to answer questions.