John Carmack Leaves Meta, ‘This Is The End Of My Decade In VR’

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picture: Bloomberg (beautiful pictures)

John Carmack, Legendary game designer, rocket guy and VR enthusiast, has announced that he is leaving both Meta/Facebook and the virtual reality business itself, after a decade of being one of its most prominent champions.

by Carmack position is one executive consulting. Initially, he sent a farewell message to his colleagues in an internal memo, but when part of that information was leaked to the media, he decided to post the whole thing — including including some explanation — on its Facebook page.

Here is the full:

This is the end of my decade in VR.

I have mixed feelings.

Mission 2 is almost exactly what I wanted to see in the first place – portable hardware, inside-out tracking, optional PC streaming, 4k(ish) monitors, cost savings. Despite all the complaints I have about our software, millions of people are still getting value from it. We have a good product. That’s success, and successful products make the world a better place. It could all have gone a little faster and go better if different decisions had been made, but we’ve built something pretty close to the Right Thing.

The problem is our efficiency.

Some people will ask why do I care how progress is going, as long as it’s happening?

If I were trying to influence others, I would say that an organization that knows only inefficiencies is not well prepared for the inevitable competition and/or austerity, but really , it’s more of a personal pain to see a 5% GPU usage figure in output. I am offended by it.

[edit: I was being overly poetic here, as several people have missed the intention. As a systems optimization person, I care deeply about efficiency. When you work hard at optimization for most of your life, seeing something that is grossly inefficient hurts your soul. I was likening observing our organization’s performance to seeing a tragically low number on a profiling tool.]

We have a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we are constantly self-sabotaging and wasting efforts. There is no way to cover this up; I think our organization is running at half efficiency which would make me happy. Some people might scoff and think we’re doing well, but others will laugh and say “Half? River! I’m at quarterly efficiency!”

It was a struggle for me. I have a voice at the top here, so it looks like I can move things, but obviously I’m not convincing enough. A large part of the things I complain about finally succeed after a year or two and the evidence piles up, but I’ve never been able to kill stupid things before they do damage, or orient and there’s a group that really sticks to it. I think my influence on the sidelines is positive, but it has never been the main driving force.

Admittedly this is self-inflicted – I may have moved to Menlo Park after the Oculus acquisition and tried to wage war on generations of leaders, but I’ve been busy programming and I figured I’d go. hate it, play badly and probably lose. anyway.

Enough complaining. I’m tired of the war and have my own startup to run, but the war can still be won! VR can deliver value to almost anyone in the world, and no company is better positioned to do so than Meta. It may indeed be possible to achieve that by continuing to study current methods, but there is still much room for improvement.

Make more informed decisions and fill your product with “Give a Dam”!

As he clearly explains, although his comments may seem diabolical, they do not necessarily relate to any individual he has worked with or the decisions made. given to his superiors. They are more about his apparent passion for the idea of ​​optimization, a structural and systemic problem that, at a company as large as Meta, can take a guy accustomed to coding and projecting. rockets into space go crazy.

This is usually the part of the story where I’ll make some conjecture, maybe how such a famous departure could trouble Meta’s efforts in the space, but lol, I think Meta is doing well enough to scream it from the rooftops.


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