Second Life Insiders

 
 
By David F. Carr  |  Posted 2007-03-01
 
 
 
Philip Rosedale
Founder & CEO
Rosedale is a pioneer in the development of streaming media technology. After developing a low-bandwidth videoconferencing system called FreeVue in 1995, he sold his company to RealNetworks in 1996 and became its chief technology officer, overseeing the development of RealVideo and other products. In 1999, he joined venture capital firm Accel Partners as an entrepreneur-in-residence, and began researching ideas that led to the creation of Second Life.

Mitch Kapor
Chairman
A computer industry leader for the past two decades, Kapor rose to prominence as the founder and CEO of Lotus Development. He was also an early investor in UUNet Technology and RealNetworks, and was a partner in Accel Partners when Rosedale was there. In an interview with Reuters, he characterized the market Linden Lab is pursuing as a $100 billion opportunity—but only in the long run, once the technology has a chance to mature.

Cory Ondrejka
Chief Technology Officer
Ondrejka leads the team developing the Second Life platform, including simulation of the virtual world on distributed servers, 3D streaming media, and the in-world tools that allow avatars to customize their own appearance and collaboratively create objects. He championed the decision to allow users to retain intellectual property rights to their creations. He has been a computer game programmer for Pacific Coast Power and Light and for Acclaim, but has also programmed electronic warfare systems. A former lieutenant commander in the Navy, he earned degrees in computer science and weapons and systems engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy, graduated from the Navy Nuclear Power School, and worked at the National Security Agency.

Joe Miller
Vice President, Platform & Technology Development
Since joining the company in April 2006, Miller has concentrated on extending the Second Life platform to reliably support very large member communities. His resume includes 30 years of experience at gaming companies such as Atari and Sega of America. In the computer learning field, he was a founder and CEO of the Knowledge Universe Interactive Studio and president of MindQ Publishing, two companies focused on lifelong learning services and applications. Perilux Group, which he founded prior to joining Linden Lab, designed products now offered by LeapFrog, Bright Things, Apple and Fitniks.

Robin Harper
Vice President, Community and Support
Harper is responsible for shaping the evolution of the rapidly growing community of Second Life users, working to resolve social and economic issues that arise within the virtual world as well as listening to concerns about Second Life technology. Before joining Linden Lab in 2002, Harper was vice president of marketing at Maxis, a division of Electronic Arts, where among other things she helped establish SimCity as one of the most recognized brands in entertainment software.

PROMINENT RESIDENTS

Gwyneth Llewelyn
(real name withheld "for personal reasons")
In real life, Gwyneth is a veteran of Internet startups who sees some of the same potential in Second Life that she saw in the early days of the Web, when the technology was clumsy, connections were slow and it took some imagination to see what the future would bring. She is an active Second Life citizen, promoting experiments in democratic governance within the virtual world, and keeps a blog at Gwynethllewelyn.net.

Timeless Prototype
(real name withheld "for personal reasons")
A programmer working in scripting language used to manipulate objects within the Second Life world, Timeless created a software distribution system to support updates to his creations. He's the creator of the MultiGadget (effectively a bundle of several useful scripts, such as one that makes a chair and table set materialize out of thin air) and proprietor of the Timeless Gadget Shop. While he prefers to protect his identity, he identifies his employer as British digital media company Graphico (graphico.co.uk), which is starting to do Second Life consulting.

Prokofy Neva
(real name: Catherine Fitzpatrick)
Prokofy is a Second Life political activist, often challenging Linden Lab on its policies and campaigning for more democratic governance of the virtual world. "I take them seriously when they say it's a country," says Fitzpatrick, the woman behind Prokofy, who in real life is a Russian translator and human rights activist from New York City. As a dealer in Second Life real estate (sort of the equivalent of being a reseller of server space for Web sites), she has also protested Linden's move toward open sourcing its system, which could in the future undermine "land" values if the number of servers operated by other organizations grows too rapidly.