So when are we going to start selling L$? It occurs to me that I skipped this discussion when I jumped right away to selling strategies. A number of people raised concerns that we shouldn’t sell L$, further (in theory) devaluing the L$ at a time when residents have been pummelled by recent changes in Second Life. When we first started seriously talking about selling L$ earlier this year, we said there are at least three steps to get there:
1) Reduce stipends. This is necessary so that the money supply isn’t bloated with L$ we sell, which would devalue the Linden Dollar. We’ve already knocked off nearly all basic user stipends, it’s time to start reducing stipends for Premiums.
2) Allow basics to buy land. Basics who own land have a recurring revenue relationship with us, and no stipend. This is the end state relationship that should be the default for all users. Some people will continue to desire a “premium” relationship, and we should continue to fashion an attractive product offering for that relationship. For the time being, the easiest way to make premium membership attractive is to give them discounted Linden Dollars. But we ought to be working on a lot more ways to make premium attractive.
3) Implement a recurring LindeX buy program. There are lots of premium subscribers who don’t own land (approx 30% of premiums). These people are effectively paying $10 for L$2000 per month – that’s a bad deal. Having them sign up for a recurring buy program would be less revenue for us, because they’d be buying L$ from other users rather than from a subscription with us. But it would put demand pressure on LindeX, which should further strengthen the L$, which should let us sell L$ on the exchange.
I’m not 100% sure what order these three should be done in, but I suppose that ideally it should be in the order set forth above. However, (1) and (3) have some negatives associated with them, and (2) has almost entirely positive benefits. So I’d like to see us proceed with (2), since it is on the path to selling L$.