Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why Linden Lab Should Buy Cloud Party

Linden Lab should have built a browser-based, Facebook authenticated version of Second Life when it had the chance. Like I recommended in 2010:
. . . Second Life could leap to mass market with one small addition: integration with Facebook. Just imagine that you could coax someone into Second Life as easily as an invitation to Mob Wars or Farmville and that they could be rezzed as an avatar using Facebook authentication in less than a minute. You could invite someone to a live music performance, an art opening or a birthday party and they could attend without a registration process or massive client download. Now that's a killer app!
Now that Cloud Party has launched with an impressive initial beta, it may be better for Linden Lab to buy than build.  Because given the historical rate of their development efforts, by the time they'd launch their own version they'd be playing catch-up. (Unless that's one of the Lab's secret projects.)

Second Life brand equity at this point isn't an advantage. It's a weight around its neck. The reason growth is stagnant is very simple: 99% of those who give it a try don't make it past their first few visits. Over the past five years, multiple millions of people have marched in and back out. Like mom always said, "You only have one chance to make a first impression." It's unlikely that very many of the unimpressed are going to waltz back in without some radical new offering. Like Cloud Party.

I have no idea what Cloud Party's valuation is. It's very possible that they're not looking for new investors.  But the synergy would be excellent, especially if Cloud Party is going to be a relatively light-weight world targeting people who are new to avatarian life. It would give newcomers a fast, fun and easy introduction to virtual worlds. Once they were comfortable to the concept, they could graduate to the more robust Second Life. Win-win.

Maybe that's an insane idea. But as Albert Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."


deliblethink said...

It seems what Cloud Party is most obviously missing is also what Linden Lab excels at.

1. Rock solid payment processing and virtual economy. As far as I know, L$ supply has never been compromised either due to technical failure or outside attack.

2. They've created their own OpenID authentication scheme across Second Life and web properties like Marketplace, JIRA, the Lithium CRM thingy they have. Stands to reason Second Life authentication could be dropped right ontop of Cloud Party. And with web profiles, that could easily be plugged into the 'Contacts' tab.

3. Customer support. Yeah, I know Linden Lab gets a lot of crap for theirs, but at the moment it seems the Cloud Party bunch consists of nothing but devs. Linden Lab already has functioning customer service infrastructure.

Some other things I'm missing, but all and all I agree, Linden Lab would be the perfect buyer of Cloud Party. They could accelerate it to market fairly quick with the holes only Linden Lab can fill in a small amount of time.

Sarge Misfit said...

Its more likely that FaceBorg will buy LL

Cecil Hirvi said...

Hey Sarge? "Faceborg". Now that's a very clever, accurate term that never occurred to me therefore I'm jealous.

May I use it for the title of my 2 hour machinima film?


I'll give you candy.