Poor Business Move Of The Day

Wired has a [nice piece up](http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/15-08/ff_sheep?currentPage=1) showing the strange void in Second Life – where countless companies have gotten in at the ground floor to produce very little.

Stuck in the middle of the article is a paragraph discussing the performance issues that affect Second Life, and theres one thing sticking out like a sore thumb:

> Created by an underfunded startup using a physics engine that’s now years out of date, Second Life is made up of thousands of disconnected “regions” (read: processors), most of which remain invisible unless you explicitly search for them by name. Residents can reach these places only by teleporting into the void. And even the popular islands are never crowded, because each processor on Linden Lab’s servers can handle a maximum of only 70 avatars at a time; more than that and the service slows to a crawl, some avatars disappear, or the island simply vanishes. **”It’s really the software’s fault,” says Andrew Meadows, Linden Lab’s senior developer. “Way back when, we used to say, ‘This is not going to scale.'”**

I certainly appreciate candor and honesty in business people, but there’s a sharp division between “acknowledging a performance issue” and “admitting you knew your system was crap from the start.”

  • Adam “rampage” Meltzer

    I honestly never saw the big appeal or allure of Second Life. It always just seemed like a bunch of fuckery in yet another virtual world — but this time you could create your own stuff. I read that article and really don’t see how anybody would ever think it’s a good idea to sink millions of dollars into such a project, especially after looking at how “successful” all of the other attempts have been.
    I’ve messed with avatar based virtual worlds since, oh the mid 1990s back when they were something novel. They really haven’t seemed to progress much since then.
    Now, Sony is getting into the fray with Home, and it basically suffers from the same crap — slow, clunky, and overdone.

  • Second Life makes me think of The Palace from back when I was like six years old, except in 3D. Had no appeal then, and still doesn’t now.

  • Second Life makes me think of The Palace from back when I was like six years old, except in 3D. Had no appeal then, and still doesn’t now.