Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DDE and General Update

Hello to all :-)

Well, the summer has whizzed by quickly this year with lots to keep me busy in the last couple of months. I apologize for not providing more frequent updates on the operations of DDE. We seem to have entered somewhat of a holding pattern, which I guess is the good news. Unfortunately, we seem to be holding close to a "break-even" position.

The problems with sim occupancy that first began in May, when Linden Research retooled Openspace sims to make them more attractive, and then filled an unprecedented number of island requests - has resulted in what I think is a permanent change in the land business in SL. Many of my clients who rented large parcels on regular sims either left for their own Openspace sim, or converted to one within Delicious Estates. As a result - the number of Openspaces has continued to grwo as I have purchased a few and converted two regular sims to Openspaces. At this point, DDE holds 18 regular sims and 30 Openspace sims. the regular sims are not doing particularly well, with at least four of them being more than half empty.

All in all, occupancy levels have remained pretty constant at this new lower level over the last two months, and try as I might, I do not seem to be able to fill them. So, I am trying to consolidate by moving some tenants to new sims and converting the empty sim to Openspaces.

For the month of July, DDE came perilously close to not being able to meet tier payments for the month - at the end of the month, profits for DDE dropped to less than 100,000L from what was typically 500,000L - 600,000L per month before May. August is going the same way - and I am expecting to be able to meet tier payments - just. Obviously, I will not be collecting a salary as I had planned for July or August. Sigh...

I still hold out some hope that in September, business will pick up as people return from their vacation, but SL concurrent user levels have not dipped dramatically this summer, so I am not sure how realistic this is. Nevertheless, I will continue to try to take whatever steps I can to turn things around and get back to the levels of profitability that we enjoyed a few months ago.

Longer term, I am still convinced that the land business, as it is currently understood, will continue to change, and that Linden Research will reduce the profitability for "land barons" by offering new products, opening up ownership of Openspaces, etc... DDE will need to be flexible and proactive in order to survive, and I continue to consider new lines of business, and new angles on the land business. I will keep you all appraised.

As you know, we decided on a dividend holiday until September, so that DDE could build up cash reserves as a contingency. so far, I have not been able to build up significant cash reserves, since I am only just covering tier. however, a decision on dividends for September won't be made until the middle of that month.

I have received a number of requests to sell shareholder shares in the last few weeks - which has led me to start considering relisting DDE on an exchange in order to allow people the flexibility to sell shares when they wish to. Given the poor performance of the business in the last few months, and the uncertainty of the future, I think it is only fair that shareholders have the ability to let the market decide the share price, and to trade shares. With low profits, I will not be in a position to personally buy many shares, and the effort required to match buyers and sellers manually is currently beyond my capacity.

When I asked shareholders for their thoughts on relisting, I got general support, certainly well more than 50% of shares that responded were in favour of it (excluding my own shares) - so I will make a decision on relisting shortly and let everyone know. As I have mentioned in the past, the most likely exchange for me to relist on the the International Stock Exchange (ISE)

I wish the news was better, but things could be worse. DDE is still viable, and the existing tenant base is quite solid and loyal, and our reputation for ethics and honest dealings remains strong. As always, please feel free to leave your comments, or to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns.


EDITED to add: Check out Travis Ristow's new business rating site - V-Rated.com. I have listed DDE there, and your honest feedback would be most appreciated. Also, feel free to leave a comment about our favorite colleague - the World Stock Exchange...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Important message to all DDE shareholders

Important message to all DDE shareholders:

I have thought long and hard about this, and i have decided that I do not want Delicious Demar Enterprises to be associated with the World Stock Exchange in any way whatsoever. I consider the actions taken by the WSE in relation to DDE and me personally to be a declaration of war, and will act accordingly.

As a result, I have decided to remove all shares from individuals that have accounts on the WSE, are part of the WSE Facebook group, or have made any statements in public that in my opinion support the WSE.

This will be done at my sole discretion. I have already gained access to membership lists, and have compiled a list of avatars that are known WSE co-conspirators, and will be seizing their shares over the next few days. As it turns out, most of my existing shareholders are still using the WSE, in spite of the unethical actions of its owner and operator, Luke Connell. As a result, almost all shares in DDE will revert to me, and I will buy out the few remaining shareholders and go my own way.

I know that some of you might find this unfair, but I cannot have the reputation and future prospects of DDE undermined by undesirable influences. I consider WSE and anyone associated with it to be such. In the end, the shares you all "own" are valueless anyway - Lindens are not a real currency, and any contract entered into by me and my shareholders through the WSE would be subject to the Terms of Service of the WSE at the time, which clearly states that trading on that platform is only a game, and that shares have no real value.

It could be argued, that since DDE delisted from the WSE, any and all obligations to shareholders ended at that time, and I have only been following the course i have chosen out of a misguided sense of loyalty to the people that invested in DDE's growth and development. In fact, there is no obligation, based on the ToS of both the WSE and Second Life. You gave your money to the WSE - and thereby to me. I never promised any returns on your investment, so I feel completely justified in my actions.

Ok. I'm kidding.

But hopefully you all get the point...


Monday, August 4, 2008

WSE Account locked - assets frozen or gone

Well, the WSE did open again. Of course, in the last few days I have made a few posts that have been critical of the WSE, in an effort to get people to think twice before throwing money into it, hoping to cash in.

So, I went to the newly opened website, and tried to log in. No luck. I went to Hope Capital Island and tried to reset my password - but the ATM would not reset it. I found out that people who had provided an email to the WSE already had their account keyed to that email, so I went to the webpage and asked for my password to be reset, and sent to me.

I was surprised when in fact a new password arrived a few seconds later! So, I went onto the site and logged in, only to receive the following message:

"Your account has been locked by an admin"

Luke Connell is, of course, the admin. So, apparently he has locked my account.

Now, to DDE shareholders - I had more than 234,000L in cash in my WSE account - I had deposited it there a few days before the closure, in order to pay dividends for the next month or so. I also held shares in a number of companies at that time - including a whopping 11,000,000+ shares of WTF, and some of HCL, and a couple other companies.

So, by locking my account, Luke has frozen assets that belong to YOU.

I hope you all know that I try to place my ethics before everything else in whatever I do, and I stand by my reputation as an honorable and fair business woman. I have, as far as I know, never stolen anything from anybody. I have been fair and generous whenever I could, wanting to reward you all for placing your faith in me and in DDE.

So, it is particularly galling to me that the WSE, the vehicle that brought us all together, as it were, is now turning around and fucking me. And not in the nice way. The worst part of it all, is that I am not surprised at all - since I did decide to finally speak out. But that doesn't make it RIGHT!

And, it is all because I have an opinion that isn't popular with the owner of the WSE - i.e. that it is a highly risky endeavour, and the owner has shown himself to be without honour. In his megalomaniacal mind, that justifies the theft of OUR assets.

So, I hope that DDE investors will be outraged by this. I hope that they will make their outrage known in a tangible way. I hope that Luke will reach deep down inside and find an ounce of decency to do the right thing and stop stealing from people that are critical of him.

I will not stoop to making meaningless threats. I have contacted Luke and asked him to return the cash that was in my account, and depending on his response, or lack thereof, will take whatever steps I think are appropriate.

I know that others like Casper and Spontaneous (and more) have been through the same thing - and with many more assets to lose - so I don't want to be a prima donna about it. Suffice it to say that what Luke has done, again, is just plain wrong, and right-minded people cannot continue to suffer his unethical and arbitrary actions.