Judge in Sheep/Edelman Biz Plan Contest: SL Probably Not Sustainable

by Urizenus Sklar on 30/11/06 at 2:04 pm


Well this is certainly interesting. Venture Capitalist Susan Wu, who has been tapped to judge the Edelman/Sheep business plan contest has a fresh blog post in which she says that Second Life is an incredible innovator, but probably not sustainable. Ouch.

At first I saw irony in the idea of Susan judging business plans for a platform that she found unsustainable, but then it dawned on me: many of the businesses in Second Life are going to survive Second Life. These businesses can be ported to other platforms. I am starting to think of SL as a metaverse business incubator, and am expecting to see all of them (incl ESC, ACS, MOU, etc) thriving in an open source version of the metaverse some day. And may I add that the SL media and cybering services and many other virtual service businesses have already ported from TSO and other places, so this is a proven concept.

4 Responses to “Judge in Sheep/Edelman Biz Plan Contest: SL Probably Not Sustainable”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Nov 30th, 2006

    I love how you prioritized those two oldest professions there, Uri.

    You know, I read this woman’s blog, too, the other day — and I realize she’s a big guru and all that, and I wasn’t really sure if she was right, and I felt, well, I could blog this as an odd contradiction, but I figure the only reason she decided to judge the contest was more about her own persona and blogging and whatnot career, and her need to be out there spotting talent, and not so much about SL.

    And you’re absolutely right, that the ESC and MOU and co. will all drop SL in a heartbeat the minute they find greener pastures. They already dropped the inworld stuff like a hot potato when they realized that planning residential zoning and conflict disputes for 15,000 log-ons was hugely dull and boring compared to claiming 1 million sign-ups and ushering in outworld big business. And who could blaim them? It’s way more exciting on the other side. After all, SL is just a glorified 3-D renderer for your work in PSP, to test out how it tiles and drapes. You can get it to tile and drape other places, even the Sims Offline which has some pretty kick-ass building capacity these days in the latest versions.

    Yes, that was the message about CopyBot that I blogged about somewhere, that the only thing that can survive is portable knowledge, that anything that has to achieve its value by rezzing and being taken out of inventory and passed around is hugely fragile and expendable. so that’s why the engineers with portable knowledge are so contemptuous and derisive of people who have to rez to make a living for micropayments — they get paid outside the game in snail mail even.

    I do think you can take stuff from game to game, but it’s a little like heart transplants, they don’t always last or work so well. For me, Flamingo Court/Motel of Last Resort was originally a concept taken from a RL motel in Houghton in a story made with offline sims. Then I built it in 2-D and had roomies and adventures and stuff in the Sims Online, but it never proved as fun to use to make narratives with screenshots. So we had living soap opera with our sims and that was cool. Then I built Flamingo Court in SL, a cheap, non-descript no-tell motel which I have to say, gets more ass than a toilet seat. However, the story never developed in the 3-D Flamingo Court the way I would have liked, with philosophical conversations about 9/11 and weed killer by the pool with Rory, and trips to the magical mini golf. I never got the mini golf to work right and the pool table is constantly rezzing balls that go off world. I realize the place to realize my Ur Flamingo Court dream lies somewhere else, beyond the Lindens, beyond the sky.

    I’d like to think that networks of friendship will also survive the destruction of the worlds by the game gods.

  2. Cocoanut Koala

    Nov 30th, 2006

    Oh, I’m certain they will. As it is, we all trudge from game to game, following each other, or finding each other (which is why I keep my same name).

    That’s why I’ve always said, it’s a small world, this metaverse.


  3. blaze@blaze.com

    Nov 30th, 2006

    She’s got typical noobie understanding of Second life and Linden Labs. Can’t believe she posted that with her real name.

    Doubt her colleagues have much respect for her and that’s why she gets the plush ‘judge virtual business plans’ contest gigs.

  4. Susan Wu

    Dec 1st, 2006

    Hi – I totally agree that my understanding of the Second Life ecosystem is noob-like! In fact, I would never be a qualified SL entrepreneur because I don’t have the deep understanding of the ecosystem like you folks do. But I really love virtual worlds and I respect everything that LL and SL are doing. I actually started out as a virtual world developer – text MUDs back in the early 90s.

    I’m participating in the biz plan contest because I would love to see the SL platform continue to flourish. But do I think that an open standards based platform has the potential to surpass and outshine SL? Yes.

    And why did I agree to volunteer to be part of ESC/Edelman’s event? Because an old friend of mine, Giff Constable, works at ESC and invited me to participate. And also, because I truly want to see virtual worlds thrive. If SL succeeds and continues to move the world forward, it benefits everyone who is working towards building immersive worlds.

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