John Carmack Sends Memo to Meta: John Carmack, an early proponent of virtual reality who joined Meta from Oculus following the company's $2 billion acquisition of Oculus, has departed the company.
Business Insider was the first to reveal his departure; they cited sources within the firm and published excerpts from his internal memo, which were critical of Meta and its augmented and virtual reality initiatives.
Carmack stated on Twitter and Facebook that he was quitting the company and published his email to staff employees in full after rumors appeared in Insider and The New York Times.
Carmack wrote in his message, “This is the end of my decade in VR.” With its inside-out tracking, optional PC streaming, low price, and nearly 4K screen quality, the Quest 2 headgear is precisely what he “wanted to see from the beginning,” he said at the outset.
The problem, he said, was that “things could have happened a bit faster and been doing better if different decisions had been made.” According to his memorandum, Carmack's primary complaint about Meta is the company's inefficiency.
He wrote that we have an absurd number of people and resources, but we continually destroy ourselves and waste time. “There's no way to put it lightly; I estimate that we're only functioning at about half the efficiency that would make me pleased.”
i mean, if you watched carmack's talk at the quest announcement last month, this comes as no surprise: https://t.co/FRSU851H8V
— Craig Mod (@craigmod) December 17, 2022
The executive claimed that he was “evidently not persuasive enough” despite being “a voice at the highest levels” who should have been able to advance the situation. Carmack didn't provide specific examples, but he did say that many of his complaints were resolved a year or two after proof of the problem had accumulated.
However, “I have never been able to kill foolish things before they cause damage or define a direction and have a team follow it,” he continued.
Near the end of the message, Carmack said he was “wearied of the fight,” but that despite this, he remained confident that “VR can deliver value to most of the people in the world, and no firm is better positioned to achieve it than Meta.”
“Make better decisions and fill your products with “Give a Damn!”” – @ID_AA_Carmack https://t.co/S8i2Db0rll
— drew olanoff (@yoda) December 17, 2022
It's no news that the executive “has always been quite upset with how things get done at [Meta],” as he admitted on Twitter. In August, he talked about the company's AR and VR division's $10 billion loss in a podcast with Lex Fridman and claimed it made him “sick to [his] stomach thinking about so much money being spent.”
He expressed frustration with the company's headphones and the mandatory software updates on an internal Meta forum. In addition, he seems to have insisted that Meta prioritize its users' needs right now as it develops its plans for the future of the metaverse.
John Carmack, Consulting CTO for Meta's VR Efforts, Is Leaving https://t.co/XtqJRZr4n2
— Nathie (@NathieVR) December 17, 2022
After leaving id Software in 2013, where he co-created the Doom and Quake series, Carmack became Oculus' first chief technology officer. When Facebook acquired Facebook (then known as Oculus) for $2 billion in 2014, he joined Meta.
I resigned from Meta, and my internal post got leaked to the press, resulting in some fragmented quotes. Here is the full thing: https://t.co/iUcr8TYMLD
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) December 17, 2022
After leaving Oculus in 2019 to focus on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), or AI capable of human activities, he took a consultancy role as CTO. His company, Keen Technologies, is creating artificially intelligent technologies.
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