John Carmack leaves Meta with a memo criticizing the company’s efficiency

John Carmack, the virtual reality pioneer who joined Meta after Oculus’ $2 billion acquisition, has left the social network. Business Insider first reported his departure, citing people familiar with the company and releasing portions of his internal memo containing critical feelings about Meta and its augmented and virtual reality efforts. After this insider and The New York Times’ Reports surfaced Carmack confirmed on Twitter and Facebook that he is indeed leaving the company, even releasing his note in full to employees.

“This is the end of my decade in VR,” Carmack said in his memo. He began by praising the Quest 2 headset for being what he “wanted to see from the start,” with its inside-out tracking, optional PC streaming, cost-effectiveness, and an almost-resolution screen 4K However, he argued that things “would have gone a little quicker and better if other decisions had been made”.

Carmack’s main problem at Meta seems to be the company’s efficiency — or, based on his memo, its lack of it. “We have a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we constantly self-sabotage and waste our efforts,” he wrote. “There is no way to sugarcoat this. I think our organization operates at half the effectiveness that would make me happy.”

The manager said that as “a voice at the highest level” he felt he should be able to move things forward but he was “obviously not convincing enough”. Though he didn’t provide detailed examples, Carmack noted that a good chunk of the things he complained about didn’t come back his way until a year or two after the evidence of the problem had already been piling up. “I’ve never been able to kill stupid things before they do any harm, or set a direction and get a team to actually follow it,” he added. Carmack admitted towards the end of the memo that he was “fight-weary” but still believes “VR can bring value to most people in the world, and no company is better positioned to do so than Meta.”

As an executive said on TwitterHe makes no secret of the fact that he’s “always been quite frustrated with the way things are being done [Meta.]In a podcast interview with Lex Fridman in August, he said the $10 billion loss from the company’s AR and VR division made him “sick.” [his] Stomach when you think about how much money is being spent.” He wrote posts on Meta’s internal messaging board criticizing the features of his headsets and the need to install software updates before you can use them. Apparently he also pushed Meta to put the immediate user experience first when it comes to how it plans to expand its vision of the Metaverse.

Carmack became Oculus’ first chief technology officer in 2013 after leaving id Software, where he was the demise and quake Franchise. He joined Meta when it bought Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. In 2019, he took a step back from Oculus and continued to serve as CTO in an advisory capacity only to focus on artificial general intelligence (AGI) or similar AI capable of performing human tasks. His startup Keen Technologies is working on the development of such AI systems.

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