Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Tao of Linden

After Linden Labs announced it descision to stop with the First Land program a friend of mine mentioned the Tao of Linden, the LL philosophy on life (http://blog.secondlife.com/2006/07/25/the-tao-of-linden/)

Linden Lab has a different and better way of doing work. It relies on the idea that if the level of transparency (everyone can see what everyone else is doing) can be made high enough, you can stop managing people by explicit authority or delegation. Instead of being told what to do, you choose your own work by listening to your peers, making good strategic judgements, taking risks, and surfing a huge amount of information.

As one of a very few pioneers in doing things this way, there is still a lot to learn. We make mistakes. But the things we have gotten right are impressive: Linden Lab has, in 6 years, had almost zero employee turnover, and our productivity, in comparison to other similar sized teams, is off the charts.

In short this could well be another way of saying: We'll develop features, or fix bugs when we feel like it, regardless of the contractual promises we made to paying members.

And what will happen to work that nobody wants to do? Some thing just have to be done in order to keep the engine running.

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