Thursday, June 10, 2010

“Restructuring” of Linden Labs to Result in 30% Layoffs

In the Linden Blog, M Linden announced there would be “the undertaking of a significant restructuring of Linden Lab.”

Though the company remains in a solid financial position, it has become clear that we need to make some hard decisions in order to bring current and future Residents the kind of product and experience we feel they deserve. After three years of intensive hiring, we've come to a place where it's important that we reorganize our teams and find a renewed level of discipline and momentum as we move forward.

The press release linked to the blog mentioned “the company aims to create a browser-based virtual world experience, eliminating the need to download software.” And “Linden Lab will look to extend the Second Life experience into popular social networks.” Then there was this ominous statement: “The software development teams will be consolidated in North America and customer support will be reconfigured to provide more scalable services. As a result, Linden Lab anticipates staff reductions of approximately 30 percent.”

Almost a third of Linden Labs’ staff will be gone.

In the Linden Blog Discussion threads was “Bidding Farewell to Many Lindens, “ some of the Linden team being let go were disclosed and discussed. The popular Blue Linden was apparently on the list, as residents were unable to find him in search. People expressed sadness for the Lindens let go. As people usually complain about Linden doings, seeing people shedding tears for a group of Lindens was an unusual sight. More than one commented along the lines of “the nice ones were let go.” One resident apologized for her criticism of Pink Linden for not answering her as she was apparently among those let go.

Another posted the following:

I've been physically sick to my stomach all day. I've had the benefit of meeting a great many Lindens inworld - and in First Life - over the last four years. It started back in 2007, just trying to get a straight answer on some of the kid policies, and eventually turned into a number of friendships.

The three losses that hurt me the most are Blue, Mia, and Teagan.

Mia was the first I ever met, in RL. Always a sweetheart to me. She'd give me Linden Bears hot off the press. She worked with the mentors and volunteers, and would put together fun inworld events for the holidays. If you did the egg hunt, the valentines heart hunt in 2009, the halloween event, or some of the others - that was Mia.

Blue sent me and a handful of others to the cornfield once, for fun. Always listened, always cared. Did a mean pole dance in Rouge one night, which was one of the more hilarious things you'd ever want to see (consider the avatar he wore). Always was with us Residents, in many cases literally. He was the sort of guy who would attend Resident events.

Teagan took me to jail in RL one day, sightseeing in SF. In the wake of all the drama over child avatars at SL5B, she showed up as in a chibi kid avvie at SL5B *and* over at Kids5B. "Hired" me to shoot her pics for SL6B, and wore a shirt I created ("Philip Linden Has a Posse") as part of her usual inworld uniform.

All of them respected me as a Resident, and looked beyond the avatar choice.

It's a sad day. I'm not going to say "this is the end of SL," but it's certainly the end of the SL I've known.

How M Linden’s “restructuring” will affect the confidence of the general resident population, and their willingness to put their real-life money into the Metaverse, remains to be seen.

Sources: Second Life Blogs, PR Newswire,

Bixyl Shuftan


  1. Mia was one that I got to kno just a little after she kinda became the SL Mentors "Mom". Sad, yes....but that kind of talent will go on.

  2. If we don't get rid of T, M, and Jack, then the writing is on the wall in big flaming letters. The pathetic management these folks bring is to try to cram a unique 3D environment and turn it into just another Facebook clone, for no good reason.