Linden Lab - A once great place to work with an exciting product now on the decline | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Linden Lab

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Helpful (5)

"A once great place to work with an exciting product now on the decline"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

- Great people, though there are less and less people remaining
- Fun projects, some very challenging engineering and social (in-world) problems to solve
- History of great alumni and of breaking new ground
- A better than average kitchen and refreshments
- Pretty solid resume building buzzword compliant technology ( C++, Python, Netezza, CEP, large scale MySQL, big data challenges with a recent sprinkling of Hadoop and MongoDB)
- If you have a family, and don't want to put in startup hours, this is a great gig
- great SF location ( other office locations may vary)
- I loved working at Linden Lab until ....

Cons

... I got too frustrated and couldn't take it any more
- Management scared to try and tackle big engineering challenges, sticking to tiny iterative changes and expecting to "move the needle" with tiny often silly "improvements" (and the charts never change from the slow sad decline despite management desiring them to)
- Inability to address engineering technical debt - management is simply scared of it
- Fundamental usability issues with the main product remain unresolved for years, aggravating users (see the many blogs about Second Life and Linden Lab)
- In an era where computing is moving to delivery of content and gaming to mobile devices, Linden Lab hopes to continue harvesting their only source of revenue (Second Life) while making nominal changes for the fewer and fewer in-world residents who can run Second Life and want to stick around
- A culture war is occurring, where the old culture is being erradicated and a new vacuos one is put in place
- Senior Management is a no show, literally, and does not want any input from the staff, believing that any input from longterm employees is at best an annoyance and at worse grounds for leading employees to the door - only newly hired employees can be trusted.
- New middle and senior management constantly come and go without listening to longtime employees who understand the product and have seen the same mistakes made over and over again
- A sadly squandered opportunity to grow the main product line, Second Life, with cloud delivery or innovative mobile enhancements - while investing in pet experiments that will likely not replace the current revenue stream as it deteriorates, or even be monetizable at all

Advice to Management

- Listen to your staff, they know much more than you realize about what is really happening
- Focus attention on the main product, Second Life
- Get active, get to actually know the staff and the projects, not just the insulating layer of middle managers
- manage by wandering around - not by being aloof and awol
- Take Second Life to Mobile, attempt to go big, not just go home

Other Employee Reviews for Linden Lab

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Sinking ship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you're looking to coast for a few months/years, this is the place for you. The office is empty most of the time as most "work from home"

    The only people in the office are those who truly care about the product and what's left of LL culture. The rest are most likely looking for an exit strategy.

    Cons

    Very demoralizing. Makes me sad just thinking about it.

    Advice to Management

    You gave up on the Lab a long time ago. Quit pretending to care.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Tragic fail of executive leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It's been written here a dozen times:
    1) the colleagues and friends at LL are what endures. At one point LL attracted industry-leading talent to work on the the virtual world revolution. Those people and the strong culture they created through 2007-2009 created an incredibly strong ex-Linden community that lasts to this day.
    2) the small size of the company relative the the huge technical infrastructure, combined with relatively big budgets allowed for low level access and responsibility with powerful and complex systems.

    Cons

    Many negative glass door reviews can be dismissed as 'sour grapes' or some kind of failure that the reviewer is not living up to. I recognize that when I say: Linden Lab of 2011 really is an awful place to work. It didn't use to be like that. It really is the current CEO, CFO and their tragically bad leadership. Control of information, decimating company culture, inability to hear criticism, making decisions based on ego not based on known fact -- all traits that have seen the CEO roll out one failure after another in 2011. Internally, the company is dominated by the CFO who bullies people and uses his control of the purse strings to micromanage all aspects of the company. He has created a culture of fear, distrust and blame. After 8 years of no exit strategy, the board is checked out. They seem willing to buy anything that the CEO tells them and have given up on all accountability. Worse yet is that the CFO and CEO are recruiting friends into power positions who are not qualified to be in those positions or who thrive on the cabal. They lack the industry knowledge of online games, virtual worlds, or anything social, and worse yet have zero leadership skills to execute on anything. No one at the mid-management or line-level respects them. It's very dysfunctional.

    Linden Lab is a troubled organization, masked by the positive balance sheet and the blessed residents who pay and persist. By all measures of a company's internal health, LL is troubled: inability to retain talent, inability to innovate, release successful products that move financial or retention needs, and employee dissatisfaction as evident by the exodus of great people from LL in 2011 (two VP's, several Sr Directors, lots of top tech talent). Second Life could have innovated and stayed relevant but the lack of leadership in 2011 has buried the company. The real failure isn't about virtual worlds. It's the tragic, heart-wrenching failure in top management that has brought the Lab to where it is today. If you're looking to the future, go to a different company.

There are newer employer reviews for Linden Lab
There are newer employer reviews for Linden Lab

See Most Recent

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