Friday, July 30, 2010
Why Philip's Talk Makes Me Optimistic About the Future of Second Life
No, this is not a parody. Although he didn't have me at "fast", I was pretty sold on Philip's vision and strategy after the first ten minutes of today's hour long inworld community meeting. Although I was tempted to make a joke about fast/easy/fun when I first heard the slogan, I'd be hard pressed to come up with a better mantra to guide development.
Of course, a catchy slogan doesn't take you very far without a concrete plan of action. And I liked what I heard there too. Focusing for the next few quarters on stability, bug fixes and speed makes perfect sense. The reference to specific metrics was very reassuring. Throughout the talk, he repeatedly talked about the importance of finding meaningful ways to measure and evaluate their performance.
I've been advocating the idea of Agile software development for Second Life over the past month so I was very happy to hear Philip talk about moving to shorter, iterative development cycles with user feedback guiding ongoing development. He also committed to an open development process so that the community can see and comment on what is being worked upon each cycle and so that the open source community can contribute in a meaningful way. I think that if they really put the user into the customer role in their Agile process (which I don't think has been the case up to this point) and adhere to the fast/easy/fun litmus test for business decisions, the gap between our low expectations and high hopes might be bridged.