Philip Rosedale: The Media Is Wrong, SecondLife Didn’t Fail

A nice piece from Sarah Lacy:

As anyone who has ever been near a startup knows, none of it is ever that simple, whether the startup succeeds or fails. And it certainly wasn’t for SecondLife — a company that seemed crazy initially, lauded as the next best thing a few years later, and was then dismissed as overhyped and mostly forgotten as the Web 2.0 wave gained steam.

SecondLife never went public or sold. There were chaotic transitions in management and pretty sizable layoffs. But far worse in the eyes of many, its audience just failed to grow. And in the Valley, many consider anything that’s not growth or an exit as a death. The hype cycle moved on, and even people in the back of the room were asking whatever happened to SecondLife, as Rosedale spoke.


“Did it ever sell?”


“I don’t know… Hey, did SecondLife ever sell?”


“I can’t remember…”


But Rosedale argued hard — and pretty convincingly — that SecondLife was a success. SecondLife has 1 million active users. That’s almost the exact same number it had at the peak when everyone was going ape-shit about it — when it was on the cover of BusinessWeek as the next big thing, when staid companies like IBM were building out SecondLife presences, when politicians were holding press releases inside of SecondLife, when Duran Duran and Depeche Mode were holding concerts there.


That number never fell, Rosedale says. If that was an amazing accomplishment then, it should still be an amazing accomplishment now that they’ve sustained it in a world where websites are fads that quickly come and go. More impressive, there are $700 million a year in virtual goods transacted inside of SecondLife every year. That’s more than enough to make the company very profitable.

See on pandodaily.com

  • Myronjc

    Please be aware that Second life not only has not failed,
    it is evolving rapidly along with the other Virtual worlds that it has spawned.
    the real problem is that too many people are dismissing this technology because
    it looks like a “game”. Never bet against technology. It doesn’t
    always win, but it has had such a good track record since the first human used
    a tool, that dismissing technology is always a really bad idea. We in the
    virtual worlds are doing a great job of building tools that will change real
    life so dramatically that those who cannot or will not adjust will not survive economically.
    Unfortunately, the general population is not being prepared for that tidal wave
    of change. A lot of people are going to lose their livelihoods to somebody else’s

  • http://twitter.com/MissGrellSL MissGrellSL

    I find SecondLife a wonderful way to interact with people whom I would never be able to meet in reality because of lack transportation and the fact that I don’t live in a big city with lots of nice dance clubs or ballrooms. Believe me, this is one person who sees SL as more than just a game. There is opportunity here for corporations to hold the ultimate business luncheon and impress each other on Second Life while eating inexpensive tuna sandwiches at their desks in reality, thus saving themselves the expense of a $50.00 lunch.