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« Plantruptcy | Main | Crime Scene »

August 15, 2009

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Desmond Shang

Curious.

Well, the fellow seems like he's doing *something* right; one doesn't get to 450 regions by royally screwing up day after day. Not to say that business success means much about character, though; that's always a wildcard. A single article or chatlog won't give a lot of insight.

From the Herald article (yes, I actually followed a Herald link, much as I generally avoid the Herald!) it seems he's very much a moneychaser, or at least that's his persona. I would think that's not an advantage, but who knows?

Being logged in 12 hours a day... yes that would certainly lead to his level of success, if it were focused effort. Personally I like a wee bit more sunlight and exercise than such a lifestyle would allow. Ultimately it may end up to be a very expensive way to make money. But for say, just two or three years? Perhaps worth it.

* * * * *

My guess is that he wanted some of your business insight, Prok. As there are many ways to do business on the grid, and nobody knows all of them.

But requesting an 'off the record' style seems a bit... questionable.

My rule of thumb is this: if someone is asking me for information, I might be willing to share if the person agrees to keep my replies off the record. Or just has some class and doesn't cross certain unspoken lines, like not posting private family info or other basic stuff like that.

But to lay down 'off the record' as a condition for being told something unasked... you were absolutely right to say no.

* * * * *

Scenario #1:

450 full regions, presuming 1500 USD annual steady state profit and ignoring one~time miscellaneous gains and losses:

1500 * 450 = 675,000 USD annual

post taxes, roughly 1/3:
450k USD take home


Scenario #2:

Presuming 50% of the regions are homesteads making 15 bucks a month:

1500 USD annual * 225 regions = 337,500 annual

180 USD annual * 225 regions = 40,500 annual

total: 378,000 USD annual

after taxes: 252k USD take home

Not bad. Perhaps the financially aspirational among us have something to learn from Mr Rich G.

On the other hand, with SL land baron margins it could Wall Street itself overnight should our service provider ever do something truly iffy:

Scenario #1 tier
450 * 295 * 12:
1.5 million annual
4100 USD daily

Scenario #2 tier
225 * 295 * 12 + 225 * 95 * 12:
1.05 million annual
2750 USD daily

Though I have occasionally entertained the idea of doing a more mass~production style rental... I'd personally rather be Warren Buffett missing out on the '90's than Rupert Murdoch waking up to find himself in the wrong industry one fine morning.

Prokofy Neva

You seem to have left out the part where you have to spend $450,000 first to get those 450 islands, the either landscape and prep them yourself or get others to, and then advertise and do service to fill them. It's not a given that you make back those costs in the first year.

Ann Otoole

Ah yes the whole "I do not want to be quoted" gambit. Must be something wrong if someone is unwilling to stand behind their words.

Ordinal Malaprop

DEAR MR PROKOFY NEVA

I AM THE OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF MR PHILIP LINDEN, FORMERLY OF LINDEN LABS

I WISH TO REQUEST YOUR AID IN TRANSFERRING THE OWNERSHIP OF FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY (450) ISLANDS OWNED BY MY CLIENT. FOR THIS SERVICE YOU WILL RECEIVE TEN PER CENT (10%) OF THE PAYMENT PRICE FOR THE ISLANDS

Ciaran Laval

Maybe it's to do with this:

http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2009/08/the-archipelago-of-egos-30-days-free-tier.html

If you're going to link with mainland it makes some sense to try and recruit a successful mainland landlord to your cause.

Darien Caldwell

Maybe it's Desmond's Secret Land Baron Alt. :D

Prokofy Neva

What I see it as the tip of the iceberg of something pretty ugly.

I think the Lindens want large barons to take over the running of the grid for the socializers so that they don't have to any more. So they are pragmatically going to some of the land barons and starting to do this by linking first to themed communities, making partnerships like German Welcome Center or Blake Sea or Bay City whatever.

And in time, they will put it to you: if you don't join a partnerhsip, or don't merge with other barons bigger than you, they can't provide you single parcels any more. Either you join up into a continent or not.

The numerous parcels the Lindens have with multiple owners on one sim are their biggest head ache because they create endless griefing opportunities, trouble tickets, etc.

So I think it's quite possible that this fellow either has an inside track from the Lindens OR he is seeing the handwriting on the wall and going around now and recruiting people as managers -- giving them a free island to manage, seeing how they do, if they offer anything, then bringing them into his empire.

Some people, told they could have management rights for free to an island and fill it with customers any way they knew how would jump at the chance. The cut on the rental income isn't clear from this sharp character, however.

Another possibility is that the $450,000 the guy spent on the 450 islands isn't being made back fast enough (Desmond hasn't answered my question about that). Perhaps earlier on, he could have "sold land" with this caper and get people to "buy island land" and then pay him the rent for it instead of the Lindens. But with the island glut and the enormous numbers of people trying the same formula of arbitrage, the price went to $0, and now many island dealers have to offer even free rent for 2 weeks, plus $0 sale for the land, to get people to move in. Some might still charge $1 or something -- I'd have to see if Azure still does that. Some really fancy themed RP islands might still get sales, I'll bet Desmond may get sales still, I'd have to check.

But an awful lot of people charge $0 and there's a huge amount of competition.

So now this guy has poor occupancy. As I've often said, if you go down to 80 percent occupancy you lose half your revenue, due to fixed costs. So perhaps he's either thinking he can buy into somebody's customer list this way, or just watch what they do and copy them, or who the hell knows. Or just experiment because he's rich in RL and this is a hobby (what I suspect).

Whatever, it's not a game I wish to play.

Desmond Shang

Well I honestly have no idea what his finances are.

The Herald article said that he was plowing his profits back in, so it seems he's bound by economics just like everybody else.

The big question isn't so much "did he make money" selling the islands, my guess is that he did. "New" and "shiny" sell, and always have. But how much of it he still has set aside for reserve tier, is the question. Yesterday's regions are a tough sell, with neighbours and the 'wrong name' and the 'wrong location'... whereas almost anyone can sell a 'new' region.

People can and do sell rental rights in Caledon all the time, but it's really spiky and varied. It has more to do with the parcel, the region, if someone is a millionaire RL and just doesn't care... stuff like that. I've seen parcels go for $L 20,000 when identical parcels could barely be given away... and that was in the last week or two.

I've got... a handful of empty parcels, and a short waiting list to match, but that's more a function of me not putting the two together fast enough than any indication of the overall market. Sometimes I have rural waterfront and the waiting list wants downtown shops, or the other way around. It's hit and miss, but Caledon in general has had incredible staying power.

I slammed the brakes on growth ten months ago, in order to maintain this kind of environment... because occupancy problems are exactly the issue, and I didn't want to have any.

There are a lot of estates addicted to growth, and there's sort of an overall vibe people get when you are expanding... people like to be a part of that. But it's dangerous ~ if you get the community addicted to growth and make that a big part of your appeal, guess what they are going to do when you stop growing.

* * * * *

I have a different take on the land baron + mainland thing, but perhaps that's because I'm not a part of it.

My guess is this: if you expanded to a bazillion sand regions back in the hype days, it's abandonment time if you can't get new residents fast enough. The bar is higher now. "Cheap land" with a road by it just doesn't cut it any more.

This is less of a problem for the private estate land baron than it is for Linden Research... we can scale back and shrug, and go do whatever it is we do offline.

For Linden Research however, it's their lunch. If they see a clear trend of major land barons scaling back... yeah, I don't blame them for wanting to stop the bleeding.

So... what to do? Well, two things should almost certainly work in the short term.

a) Take 'old' regions and make them shiny new again.

b) But this time, rather than sandbar~and~water regions, try to do those things that have staying power... get the older, nonshiny regions to stick.

To do that, you need community, history, continuity, geography... and I see this as a sort of 'first attempt' at doing so.

The thing that's troubling to me, is that those of us that *have* succeeded in doing these things all along are now going to get intense competition.

On top of the homestead fire sale and Zindra in the dead of summer... now this.

Competing with one's own customers... it's not a viable business plan I think, in the long run.

Had the business environment been kept a bit better, I would have expanded 20 or 30 regions this past year, with confidence. Yes, I sure could fill "new" regions. But now, should I? I'm cautious.

I think the spectacular growth figures shown in the recent economic report are real... but many of those gains are built upon having sold our future.

It's a subtle point, and not something anyone is going to 'get' looking at aggregate data ~ any more than aggregate data of clothing sales would tell a fashion designer what is going to be the hot style next year.

Let's say Linden Research scores a major 'win' and learns how to roll out incredibly compelling themed estates en masse... will there be a point to it, if they take out Caledon and all its kin in the process? Or will it just be a giant game of musical chairs?

The ultimate irony is that all of their themed regions will also compete against *each other*.

If Linden research soaks up enough of its own customer's business, it will soon have its customer's problems, too. And those are the most intractable and unscaleable ones of all.

Prokofy Neva

Desmond, your Lindens will have no qualms whatsoever putting you out of business and taking away your customers. Watch for a Steampunk themed continent coming soon to a grid near you.

jay

rich grainger is a thief he has sold property to many of my friends and my self and only to ban them the next day and resell it again ... Dont beleive me ? try it out yourself..the guy is a complete thief !

Rich Grainger

Jay, come to my office on region: "radio" and I will give you and your friends free land and tier.
I am sorry for whatever happened. We never scam.

Ciaran Laval

Rich I've seen your name mentioned a few times in scenarios like this, do you do you sell parcels for L$1 and then ask that people pay a further fee?

Parx

ID LIKE TO START THIS BY SAYING "Rich Grainger" IS A PIECE OF CRAP , PROB THE BIGGEST LUMP OF SH*T I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS. NOT TO MENTION HE TRYES TO LOOK GOOD BY HAVEING A PLACE WHERE NOOBS CAN LEARN HOW TO BUILD CALLED " LEARN AVATAR " I WAS A TACHER THERE AT LEARN AVATAR. AND RICH LIKES TO COME IN ONCE IN A WHILE AND TREAT " EVERYONE " LIKE SH*T
THERE ARE 2 SIMS HE OWNS AND THE IDEA OF THE PROGRAM IS GREAT. BUT THE SAD THING IS RICH YOU KNOW YOUR BA AT LIFE WHEN PPL LEAVE " FREE" LAND BACUSE YOUR SUCH A P*iCK ,I HAVE HAD MANY CONVOS WITH THIS MAN HES RUDE, COCKY ,AND A BLOODY WASTE OF SPERM.....


TEACHERS WILLING TO TEACH EVEN LEFT , WALKED OUT SAID F*CK IT
I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THIS MAN IS EVEN IN BUISNESS ANYMORE..

RICH HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT ?

rich grainger

Hi Parx, long time. since you left things have really taken off, Learn Avatar is now up to 15 sims! hundreds of students are enjoying free land and learning how to create objects and animate them using scripts. we found some new teachers and they all seem really nice. androids do not require sleep, but i will give it a try to see if my treatment of the students at LA is affecting my ability to sleep. from my memory our convo's amounted to you telling me how to run LA, and me not thinking your ideas were very helpful. you have my permission to repost any you keep, ill be happy to share if you can't find them.
Ciran, no, students at LA are required to attend class, but they not pay anything.
Jay, my offer still stands.

Parx Fonzarelli

I'd like to set the record straight as I did not post the above mentioned post from Parx. Should there be any question to this effect please message in game and I can confirm that this post is indeed factual.

True Religion Brand Jeans

Of course, it is all the way down the line, for the present this one AC milan, certainly need two fronts rotation, "the third central defender" exactly is who?

Hioh

I worked for this joker for a month and a few days. NEVER once was I paid my commission for selling his crappy land and lying to the customers to make him a sale as i was instructed to do by my superiors and Rich himself. For that, I am deeply sorry to anyone that i have had contact with per RGF ESTATES. I waited 4 weeks for my commission Payments from him, he then made a new rule, that unless the dock is covered 24/7, no one will get what they have earned, even though we have worked what we signed up to work. I quit working for his company in the early hours this morning and have taken the loss and wiped my arse with it. Live and Learn, NEVER trust this man OR the company he owns, ANY OF THEM. they are all to stupid to see through the smoke he blows up their arses.

Jazzy Jiersen

wow, the only bad thing i found out about Learn Avatar were the directors there at the time i was there(AndrewJohn Ashbourne and Bogeyman Southpaw) I was a headmaster there aswell and was setup by someone using an alt to get me out of the group . AndrewJohn and Bogey i have since found out were both in on it. They must`ve felt threatened or something lol. But all my experiences with RG were fairly good and i had no complaints. Well anyway i now believe in kama because RG has reclaimed most of the LA sims. Might log into SL now and rub AndrewJohn and Bogeys faces in it LMFAO

Unconfirmed

Andrewjohn if you are reading this, suck my cock. Same goes for you Boogey and Cricket, and all you other fuck faces. And Rich Grainger? He's an asshole too. He plays games and his attitude towards people stinks. There is nothing I admire in any of these people. They are all scum. Fuck LA and fuck RGF.

Rich Grainger

dear "Unconfirmed",

i gave you free land and tier while teaching you how to build, how did you lose that game?

Unconfirmed

You are the one who lost. You don't have integrity or sincerity. Which is why your so called "free land" now consists of nothing but 9 prim tents, and why so many headmasters and residents/students have left. There is nothing that you have that I want. Even if you paid every resident in SL one million lindens, no one would truly like you, because there is nothing to like.

FUCK RG

IF YOU DONT RENT HIS LAND YOU WILL BE BANNED FROM
HUNDREDS OF SIMS IN SL .

THIS PIECE OF SHIT BANNED US FROM ALL REGIONS FOR NOT RENTING ON HIS LAND NOW 7 OF US CAN NOT GO TO OUR FAV SIMS LIKE BALKANIK STORE AND MANY MORE !!

THIS THE WAY TO TREAT PPL RICH ? SPENT ALMOT A YEAR HELPING YOUR LEARN AVATAR PROGRAM . TEACHING PPL HOW TO BUILD . FOR FREE FOR YOU TO ACK LIKE THIS .. YOU FUCKKING PIECE OF SHIT

MY NC TO RG.

I was banned off all your sims for stnding with my friends who were looking to rent land from you and now i cant get to my fav store in sl ... not cool .... ( my friends were about to pay the tier box then her lindens would not upload and your director banned them and me for standing there ) can you kindly remove me so i can go to my fav store please .... ) i have rented from you in the past and also helped teach at learn avatar wen that program was round )

[04:04] Inventory item offered
[04:08] GG: why ?
[04:09] GG: they were gonna rent
[04:09] GG: her lindens did not load ...


( this fag psted my convo from local here )

[04:09] FA: [11:47 PM] (GG): hi
[11:47 PM] RG ( aka FA ): Hello
[11:47 PM] GG): they dont want it
[11:47 PM] GG): have a nice day

( the truth is her lindens did not upload she was imbaresed
so i said she didnt want the land.. )

[04:09] RG: i mute you now, you steal my time
[04:10] GG: she couldnt and she was imbaresd to say to them

RE: No. I was the director who banned you.

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