I wanted to introduce myself, Judy Wade, or Judy Linden inworld. I’m the new VP of Strategy and Emerging Business. Inworld I look a bit like a green sea fairy, which is what I always wanted to be when I was 6. Little did I know that I’d be able to carry out that wish in my professional life oh so many years later!
I’ve actually been working with Linden since last April, essentially on a borrowed basis from Kapor Enterprises, Mitch Kapor’s investment fund. I came on board to help with the CEO transition from Philip to Mark, and stayed on to help the company with strategic planning.
I started my career at Hambrecht & Quist as a semiconductor analyst, and then spent most of the rest of it at McKinsey & Company, working in New York, South Africa, and San Francisco, for a lot of different kinds of companies– from mines in Colombia to Internet start-ups in South Africa to technology behemoths here in the U.S. I’ve always tried to spend a chunk of my time working in the non-profit space, and have a passion for education and economic development, as well as for Cal specifically, where I spent my college years.
But I’ve never worked with or for a company with such passionate ‘customers’, such amazing opportunities, or one my dad would instantly fall in love with (as he did once he was given a tour around the rockets at the International Spaceflight Museum inworld – he’s a 77 year old wannabe physicist). I am continually amazed at the creativity of our Residents, be they consumers, enterprises, or educators, and our strategic roadmap has to focus on continuing to figure out new and better ways to enable the creativity of existing Residents and attract new people to participate in this incredible ecosystem.
So what do we mean by strategic roadmap? Sounds like a lot of consulting jargon I’m sure. At Linden it is the process we use to help us prioritize where we put our resources – to better serve existing Residents and to grow our user base in high potential markets. Some of it has resulted in big investments in what I would call the ‘must-dos’, those things we need to do no matter what – increasing technical stability, scalability and predictability, improving the overall user experience so we continually delight new and existing users, and enhancing core products such as land and e-commerce (thus the purchase of Xstreet SL and OnRez). Other parts of this roadmap are about where we invest to grow our user base, including how we can better serve and grow our international markets, how we can better serve inworld businesses and land owners, and what types of ‘killer applications’ will increase user hours and attract new users. While we conducted a formal inworld survey last May to get input on these issues, and will launch another one soon, if any of you have ideas on the above, please send in comments here.
Now that I have officially joined Linden in this new role, I will continue to work with Mark and the rest of Linden on our strategic direction, as well as being responsible specifically for potential strategic partnerships, international strategy and market growth, and education. Most importantly, I look forward to continuing to help Linden nurture and support the amazing Resident creativity and activity that is Second Life.