Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hard Ass John Z. Fired By Linden

Yup, PG called it (this one is long overdue....)
"CFO John Zdanowski Leaving Linden": From "VWN" - CFO John Zdanowski announced today on the Second Life blog that he was leaving Linden Lab. Zdanowski joined the company in Summer 2006, before the mainstream hype of Second Life or virtual worlds more generally had really picked up. It's also, as he notes, before Second Life was profitable or really had a solid business model. Following Corey Ondrejka's ouster as CTO, Philip Rosedale's transition from CEO to Chairman, and, more recently, Robin Harper leaving as VP of Marketing and Community Development, Zdanowski's exit highlights the changing nature at Linden. Half of the executive management team has joined in the last year since Mark Kingdon took over as CEO. Appropriately, Zdanowski's only offered reason for leaving is that the challenges of the start-up have been overcome.

"Fast forward to now. We have a comprehensive financial model that ties all the activities of Second Life to our revenue forecast so that we can manage to profitability," blogged Zdanowski. "I am proud to say that we boosted profitability and generated a very healthy cash balance. We implemented all new accounting practices including a comprehensive revenue recognition policy. We've come a long way and I'm proud of my work and that of the great finance team."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Club Penguin Success Proves Canadian Billingualism is a Joke

So now "Club Penguin is Supporting French" with Disney announcing today that it had begun supporting the francophone community in its kids world Club Penguin. The new rollout brings in French-speaking staff from Canada and Europe for more timely support and moderation. “As a Canadian-based company, we’re particularly excited to be able to offer French-speaking children and families in this country the same opportunity to explore the fun and creativity of Club Penguin in their own language that so many other kids around the world already enjoy,” Lane Merrifield, Club Penguin co-founder and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios, said in a statement. So this virtual penguin-land is launched in Canada exclusively in English, becomes an unbelievable internet success story which Disney suits in USA buy for $300+ mill USD in cash and not one French Canadian was bothered by the lack of a French version. Don't get PG wrong, the French rock in Canada and back home. Frech women French wine, French cuisine, French-Canadian goalies, culture... all are pretty damn superb. And the French internet market is with the Spanish, a most often neglected market that have an extremely wealthy and sophisticated user-base for virtual worlds (the vibrant French communities in Second Life, HABBO and WOW - published by Vivendi of course - proove this). But at the end of the day, to be a success story in Canada & North America generally for virtual worlds, Club Penguin proves French is not necessary. All French Canadian kids speak English anyway ... So canadian Government, save a few billion and ditch this silly billingualism.