Second Life

Six Degrees of Separation Through Second Life to Kevin Bacon

Linden Lab is in the news again today with the hiring of Robin Ducot as Vice President of Web Development. The new hire fits with the broader sleeper strategy to rocket Second Life into becoming one of the leading social media brands on the Web…and to be the unexpected IPO/sale of this decade. (Or that’s my bold prediction on the days I’m feeling really peppy anyways).

The press release further highlights that Second Life is no longer just a world: it’s a brand which encompasses Web-based content that will act as a ‘hub’ from which users experience an increasing amount of their on-line communication, community participation and commerce. The release points out that Robin will not only be in charge of keeping the new Second Life Web site up-to-date, but will help to move Second Life beyond the “world”:

Specifically, Ducot will work to expand the company’s Web infrastructure and architecture, offering complementary lightweight Web experiences that extend the value of Second Life beyond the virtual world and help Residents more closely integrate Second Life with their daily lives….

“Linden Lab has invested heavily in its Web properties over the last year, creating new tools and products that increase the value of the Second Life experience, both in the virtual and real world,” said Robin Ducot, VP of Web Development of Linden Lab. “We have a tremendous opportunity to further leverage the Web to enhance the Resident experience with new ways to connect with the virtual world, and to grow Second Life’s global user base, while also providing new revenue streams for the company. Mark and his team have built a tremendous foundation and I’m excited to continue to push the boundaries and refine our Web offerings.”

(Any guesses on what ‘new revenue streams’ mean? I figure they want to diversify from the land market as quick as they can find the exits.)

But part of the story here isn’t just that Linden Lab has hired this particular position, but that they hired Ducot from Adobe where she was “VP of Web Development at Adobe Systems where she managed, distribution of the Adobe Reader and Flash Player, and Web services for Adobe’s SaaS offerings”.

(Take note of how often the term SaaS starts to invade the Lab’s vocabulary and then see if there are any venture capitalists in the back corner).

The hire leaves Adobe with two hands shy of a full deck, as Mark Kingdon also snapped up Tom Hale earlier this year from Adobe.

But hey, Silicon Valley is a small place, by the end of your career you’ve probably done a stint everywhere, much like in Hollywood where the revolving door leads to the popular parlor game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon“. Let’s play it shall we, starting with any random Silicon Valley company – in this case eBay:

E-Bay loses Dave OHara to Apple
Apple loses Tom Malloy to Adobe
Adobe loses Robin Ducot to Linden Lab
Linden Lab loses Robin Harper to a contract at Metaplace
Metaplace is started by Raph Koster
Raph Koster quits Sony Entertainment
Sony Entertainment produces Wild Things (amongst other movies) with Kevin Bacon

Hmmm….maybe I should have tried to link in Cory starting at and then leaving EMI, but I figured that would create a recursive loop. How many degrees of separation can you create through Second Life to Kevin Bacon? (Just choose a company from Mitch Kapor’s investment list or something and take it from there).

Oh – and P.S. I’m starting vacation tomorrow so if I seem kinda punchy it’s because I’m getting some kind of hyperventilating feeling at the thought of being mostly disconnected for a week. HAHA.


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