High Fidelity: Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic?

I suspect that some people are going to be very angry about this, but anyways…

High Fidelity: Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic?

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Its not anger, I feel you dont understand how buisness are run
The idea of a buisness is to provide a service or a product in exchange for money.
If money isnt made changes are made untill money is.
Apart from secondlife, i cant think of a vr platform that is even breaking even let alone in profit.
Sansar is living like a parasite sucking the blood out of secondlife users to maintain its userbase of 15 people. Vr chat is run entirely for free and as such is burning through its start up money, what happens when it runs out?
Your post paints the picture that hifi alone is failing.
Hifi is purley the first to recognise the problem and change direction to do somthing about it.

As i understand it hifi has a huge pile of money to continue development with
they seem to feel its better spent providing services to buissness than a gaggle of freeloaders
shocker

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Well, not surprissed.
This where already visible 2 years ago. The ignored desktop and i think still do with 101% Instead of making the platfrom more suitabl;e for users. The ignored it. And users like me say. That’s not going to work because the not fix things.

Climbs in tree and looks from there how things go.
The platform where not suitable for most people because yes the ignored desktop. So people that are upset are mabye a bit blindfolded.

If high fidelity want to get better, use something that works default with blender without starnge add-ons required. Make desktop UI good and fix the font blurr in QT. and so there’s a long list from 2+ years old that’s still not fixed but keep people out.

Stepping on the break when you hit see the tree is mabye a bit late.

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Except Hifi has failed to tackle its biggest problem: the money.

Yes, High Fidelity has money to continue to float on. I will never argue they don’t have it. However, as I cashed out as soon as I could, I noticed something on the wiki that made me have another “They wouldn’t do that, would they?” moment (spoiler, that’s how I found/rediscovered almost all exploits I have found on the system, including a more recent… nastier one).

The issue was that the wiki page mentions the following:

Currently, you can buy High Fidelity Coins (HFC) using Ethereum, a blockchain app that trades ETH (Ether). The Bank of High Fidelity manages HFC and we gradually increase the number of coins in circulation as the economy grows. 100 HFC is equal to 1 USD.

Uh… wait, wasn’t that something of concern in the past?

Yep, we did! Huh… okay, well let’s just say we like being buckets put on our heads and that we will eat our vegetables and like it, surely we can cash out HFC for ETH, right?

As you acquire more HFC through Marketplace sales, prizes, or gifts, you may cash out your HFC for USD. The minimum amount of HFC that you cash out is $25 (or 2,500 HFC), and the maximum cashout value is $2000 (or 200,000 HFC) per calendar month. High Fidelity may, at its discretion, issue the occasional exception to the maximum cashout amount.

You got to be absol-f******g-lutely kidding me! So let me get this cluster **** of a situation fully understood:

The life cycle of HFC:

I want a hat. To buy a hat, I need HFC.
To get HFC, I need to buy ETH.
To get ETH, I need to set up an ETH wallet. (gee, I wonder if we can all remember a time when everyone hated this with a certain HFC currency. I can’t imagine how well this will go, but let’s move on…)
To get ETH in my ETH wallet, I need to visit a currency exchange.
To use a currency exchange, I have to pretty much sign up for another bank account (with all the credentials involved). Also, I most likely cannot use a credit card or PayPal.
Now I have ETH, so I want to buy HFC. I have to now set up a bank appointment in High Fidelity itself.
Once the day comes, I log in and visit the bank. Hopefully, I didn’t log in with my headset on, since I have to scan a QR code with a phone (and god help me if I don’t have that).
Now I have HFC.
Now I can buy a hat.

What. The. Fuck.

Seriously, let us look at this monstrosity of a system. So to buy something, to actually own the PoP license to the dankest hat in the god damn metaverse, I have to do ALL THAT?! Well no shit no one bought HFC and that once the money tree got chopped, no more sales happened! No normal person would ever go through this hassle! The process for a person to do legitimate transactions is a joke.

And the kicker of all of this that say you want to be a super serious cryptocurrency person; you think it’s the best thing in this world. Well, the joke’s on you, because you can’t withdraw HFC back as the currency you purchased it as! It’s not even an option!

So yes, High Fidelity, thanks to its investors, has a lot of money to float on. However, once that is gone… that’s it. The money flow that High Fidelity had is borderline non-existent. The only way money flows easily is out, and that’s it. No partial earnings from the marketplace. No service charges to any possible future events. NOTHING

On top of that, I hadn’t been to any of the meetings past April. The fact my furry ass is in every thumbnail, considering I left for greener pastures back in late May, is slowly becoming a running joke where no one is laughing.

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And yet here you are .they sacked you and even that didnt drive you away
You love us you really love us.

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What I loved was the potential of the platform. At this time, I don’t see it.

I keep my eyes open to see when the roadmap actually gets some updates worth looking at.

Also, again, for the last time: I wasn’t fired nor did I resign. Explanations were given during my final shift and I still do not have foul feelings towards the decisions involved, nor did I have them at the time.

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…well I mean, it IS the dankest of hats. :smiley:

On a more a serious note, would it not make more sense to simply integrate with 3rd party payment processor in-engine? I’m not playing devils-advocate, simply going to ask, what security flaws appear in place should someone go this proposed route?

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Hifis security flaws seem to only be relevant if you leave the front door open to strangers
Even text chat rooms have moderators

To make money, you need customers, and those customers should be driving the design of your products/services and giving a business model focus.

It is much more problematic to say you are going to target businesses but not have any actual business customers to drive that. You can easily get caught up in creating an ideal target, and get things backwards where you get caught up in how to change customers to your idea of them. Changing the way others operate is tough and requires a great sales team to convince them to use your products.

A good example is with the fact that we have no idea what hardware customers will have available, and what businesses will actually go out and buy hardware to run VR or even 3D graphics. A lot of places I’ve worked at for example do not invest much in graphics cards, with the exception of video game studios which have them for obvious reasons.

I’m currently working at a startup that is facing this exact problem, except that they are targeting a extremely niche industry that is hard set in its ways. Their solution to this hurdle is in partnering up with customers, and even potentially merging with a customer.

I think cryptocurrencies are a perfect example of a bad strategy that gets you caught up in how to get your customers to change the way they do things. Not that cryptocurrencies do not have their uses or potential uses in the future (I own Dash/BCH/LBRY/BTC/ETH/BAT and smaller amounts of a bunch of others), but businesses should not depend on those taking off any time soon, they should look at if doing that is going to bring in actual real customers today, and not some imagined customer of the future.

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Well, actually they could. In the marketplace’s main webpage, it loads up a braintree script that is uncached, minified, and over 2MB in size (now you know why the page takes forever to load, you’re welcome). I don’t know if HFC has the same issues as other cryptocurrencies where PayPal and nearly every credit card service is screaming “No!”, but as I mentioned before, assuming they can let HFC be purchased via PayPal or other services, they already have the ability to do so.

The only problem is the US (and EU) legal stuff regarding it along with most policies with some financial institutes… but what makes me scratch my head is how does that work with PayPal withdraws, as in, wouldn’t that be under the same restriction? If so, and there is no restriction, then why can’t users just hand High Fidelity money via PayPal (or Skrill, since I heard that’s more EU friendly) and get their HFC?

If I had to schedule a shopping appointment for things at Walmart, I don’t think it’d be very successful, considering everyone else just gladly taking my money in exchange for goods.

On another note, and this one will be strange but I can see where it may be going, the whole Trilia thing with Linden Lab seems to be causing some head scratching, but if it’s doing what I think it is, then perhaps it may be another venture point. From what I roughly understand, Trilia is just to be a gateway point for exchanging virtual currencies for actual currencies. This means if say they are handling both L$ and S$, that the point where it all converges is just one location. Other companies with their own currencies (possibly HFC included) could join in and operate at the one exchange since all management and risk is handled by that company. I’m not saying that is the solution, as the whole thing with Trilia taking the stage light is too early to make full assessments (though it’s been in existence since 2014), but I did mention that High Fidelity partnering with an exchange service to ease the ability to get HFC would and should be a high priority.

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The other issue is that you shouldn’t force customers to your own ideals and ignore their criticism. The wallet’s introduction was out of no where and forced all users to use the wallet system, even for free items. This was done to ensure users got used to their system… even if it was clunky, buggy, and prone to issues since not everyone has the know how on operating an offline crypto wallet. The number of people who complained about lost items due to reinstalling the client (which cleared out the app data, where the wallet was installed (woops)) or thinking that asking for money so early (as most new users weren’t aware that the wallet system was not for micro-transactions, which was getting some heat at the time (thanks to EA) was so out of control, you would think that maybe listening to feedback would be a thing.

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Nope. Their system, their rules, don’t like it, leave. And so many people did, and they never came back. Great job, by the way!

I can’t go into details about the push for making free items NOT require the wallet, but I can simply state it was a thing and nothing resulted from it. It wasn’t until a year later when the wallet was silently created with user creation that suddenly the complaints vanished… but the damages were already done, and people don’t forget too easily. Not to mention, that created its own influx of concern by more experienced users with High Fidelity holding their wallet data.

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Everone leave hifi flame dosent like it .

I suspect there is irony somewhere in here. The reasons I bought a bunch of bitcoins in 2013 was because it was extremely easy to use to buy stuff online. Way easier than having to enter your credit card on many different websites, and dealing with your visa card getting locked and having to call the bank. A lot has changed since then though, bitcoin adoption cratered and the technology has gone off the deep end chasing some abstract unobtainable concept of decentralization, unfortunately or not, the convenient thing for me today is just to only buy from Amazon, and sell off my bitcoins and cryptos when I need money.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s complicated, and I’m okay with the varying kinds of wallet systems (true offline, where you need to have copies of the chain itself, lite wallets, which does some voodoo so it just needs to draft the chain for updates, and online wallets, which handle everything via an account). The thing is that not everyone has gotten used to that, and the fact that to even register a wallet in High Fidelity required a log in… you can see where people would start to get confused on why there was suddenly an extra step involved or why the wallet would be on their system when they have to sign in to an online account to even access the wallet in the first place.

I’m not exactly basing this off of speculation: this was the typical vocal responses from people with this stuff. On top of that, there was barely a tutorial for the current system (I think this was when the zen garden tutorial was retired but before offline worlds became a thing) and when the new tutorial was released, it was so focused on the market system, it failed to mention how to move around (I’m not kidding).

If High Fidelity instead allowed users to grab free items and maybe poked about creating a wallet to keep track of their purchases as a post purchase popup, it could have made things a bit easier and more smooth for new users. It’d allow them to make the step forward and present the wallet as a positive instead of an enforced system.

I guess it comes down to whether or not we are true fans. I’ve seen plummeting drug addicted rock stars fall and get much more support than HF… and I think we as a community have ourselves to blame. The tone was getting downright rude and angry as all kinds of users expected HF to make all their immediate dreams come true. HF is still in the game. They just are not catering to a group of whiners any longer. Can you blame them? Imagine the stress it has relieved them of. I for one am guilty of pushing and complaining and expecting the moon before the launch. So sorry HF, will you take me back?

On a serious note… we can still be cheerleaders. What about community and privately hosted spaces? Why is it upon HF to foot the bill for these? Honestly people, if HF creates all the content in their Metaverse just how are they expected to turn a profit? Perhaps we should start our own fan page and stop expecting HF to do it for us… Either we are in, or we are out. I haven’t spent as much time in here as you Alphas so I have much less to leave but honestly, where do you go for your VR? Sansar? Oh please… roll your own? Good luck with that. High Fidelity is still THE biggest promise for a sustainable VR Metaverse… I’m not going anywhere. In the meantime, HF has taken a side step toward a business model that will actually pay for them to make our dreams come true. Who’s not OK with that?

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Ryan, generally I’ve been a real fan of your work. I can’t say I completely agree with you on this. It’s all about building a sustainable model. If you had the vision HF has then you would see the end game. Does your interface still work? Then you have HighFidelity. Can you still build spaces? They you have HighFidelity. It hasn’t gone away. Don’t expect them to cater to everyone anymore. They were burning too much time trying to pacify everyone. Now they can set their own goals and work toward them without these distractions. They have a vision and I trust them to carry it out to the end. It’s a little close to call them done when they admit they have enough capital to finish. Your article in my opinion is a bit over board. I’m not mad… I just disagree.

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The problem is that it feels like HF lost their original vision, and as such, their end game has also shifted into something that is less desirable. Given their most recent advertisement, it only strengthens the argument that whatever was the intended goal for High Fidelity is more or less gone (that and the page is full of so many conflicting statements and corporate buzzwords it’s just a cringe fest to read).

I’ve already said my piece many times before, but I still stand by it since that was the originally given vision I signed up with. I know there were other promises like x number of people by given time and HMDs will rule the world (though honestly, that could be just a prediction about the Oculus Quest because seriously that thing is sold out everywhere), but those aren’t the ones I’m looking at since those are effected by outside conditions. The ones I look at are the ones based on their own roadmap, which is under their own control.

In the end, most things were never added or newer ideas were rushed and in such an incomplete state, it caused more harm than good. Was create buggy and not working right all the time? Sure, but it was a baseline creator that did work. It was something refined over time and still does the job. The migration from Razer Hydras to OpenVR and Oculus 1.3? Fine. The updates to the audio system? Also good. Assignment client management? Done alright.

This is coupled with concerns about over-complicating things instead of having a strong foundation. Remember audio ducking for desktop users? Just offer ye’ old audio ducking? Push to talk as an option out of the box? Nope, wait until special audio AI can intelligently determine when or when a user isn’t speaking. Why not just propose that as an upgrade to a basic feature?

As for the community stuff… honestly, that’s a major reason I’m just not around. I’d rather stick around places that are beta and don’t make me regret logging in.

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I don’t see it as a sinking ship, but as a remote island of dreams unable to find a place on a map

I’m still waiting, but I have to wonder with the new generation here in america taking over if their will ever be a market bigger then SL.

I also think this project is too local, mostly people from the declining western countries who are imploding into self destruction, while this project ignores the eastern countries with what they could contribute to it.

I agree with others the interface for PC is terrible, Rendering as well.

I myself have never seen Philip making rounds of discussion for development in places like Hong Kong, Seoul or Tokyo, nothing about India or Russia either. how can you have a project where the goal was to help benefit the world but leave out so many in it’s development.

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