January 30, 2023

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The legend can't stand dead anymore

The legend can’t stand dead anymore

John Carmack has completed his 10-year journey in virtual reality.

Meta VR has lost its VR Director

He announces this at the same time that he writes that he is leaving dead.

Carmack says that Meta has incredible amounts of resources, but it’s not efficient enough that over and over again, according to him, decisions are made that aren’t the best for the products.

describes Quest 2 as the biggest success; That’s probably something the Meta would agree to because this is still the leading consumer headset on the market. As is known, Meta launched the Pro headset at NOK 15,000, but after the launch and some heavy press coverage, things quieted down. meta is struggling.

He has his own company

What Carmack will do now is unknown, but almost every company in the industry will do a lot to acquire the graphics engine and game legend. Carmack says he’ll run his own startup anyway, but he might be tempted by the headhunter’s offer.

For Meta, it’s a very small crisis: They reshaped the company just before the economic downturn and have yet to release a sequel to Quest 2, which Carmack co-created. Are they capable of that now?

Read Carmack’s full resignation letter

This is the end of my virtual reality contract. I have mixed feelings.

The Quest 2 is almost exactly what I wanted to see from the start — mobile hardware, inside-out tracking, optional PC streaming, a 4K(ish) display, and cost-effective.

Despite all the complaints I have with our software, millions of people still benefit from it. We have a good product. It’s a successful product, and successful products make the world a better place. Everything could have happened a little faster and run better if other decisions had been made, but we built something very close to the “right thing”.

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The problem is our competence.

Some will ask why do I care how progress happens, as long as it does?
If I were trying to convince others, I’d say that an organization that has only known inefficiencies is ill-prepared for the inevitable competition and/or belt-tightening, but really, seeing a 5 percent GPU utilization rate in production is more of a personal pain. I’m upset about that.
[redigert: Jeg var altfor poetisk her, siden flere personer har gått glipp av intensjonen. Som systemoptimaliseringsperson bryr jeg meg mye om effektivitet. Når du jobber hardt med å optimalisere det meste av livet ditt, vil det skade sjelen din å se noe som er grovt ineffektivt. Jeg liknet å observere organisasjonens ytelse med å se et tragisk lavt tall på et profileringsverktøy.]

We have a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we are constantly sabotaging and wasting our efforts. There is no sugar coating on it. I think our organization is working at half the efficiency that would make me happy. Some might scoff and claim we’re doing a good job, but others will laugh and say “Half? You have! I’m in quarter efficiency!”

It’s been a struggle for me. I have my voice on the highs here so I feel like I should be able to move things along, but I’m clearly not convincing enough. A good portion of the things I complain about run my way after a year or two, but I’ve never been able to stop the stupid stuff before it causes harm, or sets a trend and I have a team that actually sticks to it. I think my impact in the margins has been positive, but it’s never been a major driver.

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Admittedly, this was self-inflicted – I could have moved to Menlo Park after the Oculus acquisition and tried to fight generations of drive, but I was so busy programming, I assumed I’d hate it, be bad at it, and probably lose anyway.

Enough complaining. I’m tired of the battle and I have my own startup, but the battle is still winnable! VR can bring value to most people in the world, and no company is better positioned to do so than Meta. Perhaps it is actually possible to get there by continuing with current practices, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

Make better decisions and fill your products with “Give a Damn”!