LoveMachine Inc: Second Life founder’s reputation-as-currency start-up?

Love, Second Life styleOh, to be a CEO of a tech start-up… they can get bored of their projects even faster than the public can, y’know. Actually, that’s a little unfair – Philip Rosedale, the man behind Linden Lab, hasn’t lost interest in Second life so much as he’s looking for a new fish to fry with his new company, LoveMachine Inc. [image by Mrs. Bones]

What does LoveMachine do? Apparently it’s developing a system of the same name that was used by Linden Lab as a points-based incentive tool:

Linden employees gave and received “love” for a job well done. If an employee was well-received amongst his or her peers, their accumulated love currency was redeemable for a cash bonus at the end of the month. Similar to social capital systems like Whuffie Bank, it appears that LoveMachine may become a reputation currency system for businesses.

Interesting to see another outfit chasing after reputation economies as a potential business model… and restricting such a system to the limited and manageable confines of discreet organisations makes sense, as closed economies are inherently easier to manage. I expect they’ve heeded Bruce Schneier’s advice on reputation economies, too:

You’ve all experienced a reputation economy: restaurants. Some restaurants have a good reputation, and are filled with regulars. When restaurants get a bad reputation, people stop coming and they close. Tourist restaurants – whose main attraction is their location, and whose customers frequently don’t know anything about their reputation – can thrive even if they aren’t any good. And sometimes a restaurant can keep its reputation – an award in a magazine, a special occasion restaurant that “everyone knows” is the place to go – long after its food and service have declined.

Details of the LoveMachine plans are understandably sketchy at the moment. However, Rosedale and company have got a public worklist of jobs that they need a contractor to take on, and – if you live in the San Francisco area – they’re looking to hire. [hat tip to Fabio Fernandes]