How Long Will Rupert Wait?

Or perhaps the better question is how long can Rupert wait before getting a 3D interface for MySpace. Measurable migration is already happening:

MySpace’s share of traffic among the top 20 social-networking sites shrank 1% from October to November, according to online monitoring service Hitwise–and while it still owns more than 81% of that category–its users are going exploring. … “There’s always stuff going on,” says Gorman. “Once more [MySpace users] find out about this game, they’ll realize what they’ve been missing.”


Youngsters these days spend a lot of their time in (two dimensional) social networks such as MySpace, Facebook and Bebo. Others have joined up to Habbo Hotel, a halfway house (technologically speaking) which gives members their own cartoony-style avatars and a room in the hotel that they can spend virtual money to improve on.

There are now an estimated 60 million avatars in Habbo Hotel in 29 countries (including people who have taken on multiple identities). Nearly 90% of Habbo’s income comes from members spending on their rooms and avatars. It is likely that a lot of the MySpace generation will migrate to virtual worlds in the future once their peers do and they can afford the more sophisticated computers that Second Life and others require to be fully enjoyed

Guardian Unlimited Business

Moreover, the 100’s of millions of downloads of Google Earth and Microsoft’s VirtualEarth/Live Local is adding fuel to the fire.

Whirlpool’s new initiative to provide 3-D models of its products for Google Earth users is a great example. Recognizing many of its target customers (design and architecture firms) have turned to Google’s free SketchUp app for visualization and design, Whirlpool makes these designers’ lives easier by providing products that can be plunked into designs.

Newsweek: 3-D World: Google vs. Microsoft

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  1. […] I agree with the first part because Google has to get into this space because of the ad potential just like MySpace has to because of social networking. However, an offer from Google or MySpace or Microsoft or IBM would be a clear indication that Linden Labs is succeeding in their mission and the only way I can see them selling Second Life is if they feel they can’t achieve their mission. At least that’s my read of their CEO’s comments last fall: Within Linden Lab we have a mix of investors with an unusually long time horizon. Looking back I would say we were at first simply very lucky to have such investors (Mitch Kapor being the best and first example), since I knew very little about how to raise investment to finance a company. With learning and the sound counsel of those first investors, we later were able to be more intentional in finding the sort of investors that we believed would have a long time horizon. There are also some investors who have specific principles that they are willing to stick to independent of the impact that these principles may have on the value of their investments. Examples of such principles would include Pierre Omidyar’s (one of Linden Lab’s owners) desire to invest through his foundation in companies that use technology to improve society, or Warren Buffet’s (not a Linden Lab investor) stated intention to not sell companies once he has acquired them even if they are underperforming expectations. These kinds of investors pursue companies that they believe share their principles. Linden Lab is fortunate to have a number of such strongly principled investors, with their intentions loosely grouped around the above-mentioned idea of using technology to advance people. Moreover, I believe that the principles of the investors in Linden Lab are very well aligned with creating great financial returns. […]

  2. […] Like Rupert, they know they have to be in this space. However, since they haven’t figured out yet what to do and watching Second Life about to tick off another million(2.8 million signups as of this writing – up from 1 million three months ago), they’ve decided they better start learning by doing. […]

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