The secondary offer and transfer of islands from Kejo Merlin Land Group (KJL) have offered me a great opportunity to do some thinking about Delicious Demar Enterprises, and the future of DDE. It has been a frantic month - setting up 8 new sims is quite a challenge, especially with the numerous bugs and problems caused by Second Life! However, now that DDE runs approximately 25 sims, both mainland and island, throughout SL, it makes us one of the top half-dozen real estate companies in SL, and it was time to start seriously planning for the future.
The first thing to establish is what is the place of DDE in my life. As the months have gone on, the business side of SL has taken more and more time - which is fine - I really enjoy it. But I never intend for SL to become my job - I have one of those in RL which I like very much and which keeps me nice and busy. So, clearly, it is not my intention to continue to grow DDE forever - I want to get it to a manageable size, and then stop expansion and just enjoy it. In addition, although the land biz has been good to me and to DDE, I have many other projects in mind, and I want to have time to pursue those as well. I love to build and create things, make skins, etc. So, I have no intention of trying to make DDE the biggest (or even second biggest) real estate company in SL. Now, with the successful completion of the secondary offer on the horizon, I think I have grown DDE to the point where I would like to slow growth and simply turn a consistent and healthy profit.
The second thing to establish is, what is my role going to be in DDE into the future. I guess the simple answer is this - in large part, I AM DDE, and that is not going to change. I am going to continue to play the same active, hands-on role I have always played. In recent weeks, I have been able to delegate some of this work to others, but the management and operations of DDE is going to remain with me.
Having a company on the WSE is a double edged sword. On the one hand, kind investors have entrusted me with their hard-earned Lindens to invest in assets and create wealth for them, a responsiblity that I take very seriously. On the other hand, as I create more shares in secondary offers, I see my own ownership stake in the company diminish. One of my main goals in the coming months is to remedy this. With a dual strategy of buying shares with my own money, and also buying back and deleting shares with some of DDE's profits, I am going to increase my ownership in DDE until it is at least 50% +1. Depending on the market conditions, share price, etc, this could take a few months, or it could take longer. Regardless, I am not satisfied owning less than half of myself, so to speak, and will not rest until this is fixed... In fact, it may well be that over time, I will continue to gain an ever larger proportion of DDE shares. Personally, I think this will be very good for shareholders. Those that want to sit on shares to receive the healthy dividends I have established, can do so. Those that want to do some profit-taking can be assured that there will be constant share trading created by this substantial buy back strategy, which should keep the share price relatively high.
Finally, and most importantly, what business does DDE want to BE? What started as a hobby has turned into a significant business. I think that the way I have run DDE is rooted in my values, and that I have always tried to take a consistent approach of professionalism mixed with fun to everything I do in Second Life. So, I thought it was time to more formally lay out the mission and vision of DDE. Yeah, I know that mission and visions are sometimes just a lot of words, but I want to have something to look at when I am making decisions, to reflect the decisions against by asking myself, "Does doing THIS help me accomplish THAT."
So - I have thought for a long time about a statement that captures what DDE is all about - helping people realize their dreams in Second Life, building something of value, and doing it ethically and professionally. What I have come up with is this, a statement that I think encompasses all of these things:
Building Dreams. Doing it right.
I hope that this statement can be a lighthouse for me as I navigate the stormy waters of Second Life - guiding me in everything I do. Whenever I have a decision to make, I can see whether it helps to advance that vision. Dreams can be those of the people that get land from DDE for their home or business, customers that buy our products to enrich their SLives, or investors that want to make a good return on their investment. As we all know, sometimes the latter can seem like a distant dream... lol. Doing it right means both doing it ethically, and doing it properly and professionally.
So, onto the mission statement. A mission statement is supposed to give people an idea of what DDE actually DOES, day to day - the reason why DDE exists. I have tried to capture that in the following mission statement:
Delicious Demar Enterprises is an established and trusted company that provides land and other services and products in Second Life at a fair price, and with excellent customer service. DDE matches it's land, services, and products with the needs of its customers, to enable them to improve their Second Life experience. DDE is a publicly listed company on the World Stock Exchange that strives to create wealth and value for its shareholders.
With any luck, this is self-explanatory. lol. If not, it probably needs some work. I would be really interested in your feedback on this. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Onward and upward!!