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6/20/2007
06:55 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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What Can Real-World Businesses Do To Succeed In Second Life?

I'm wrapping up an article I've been struggling with for months, about how real-life businesses succeed in Second Life. It's a tough article to do because I think the overwhelming majority of real-life businesses that move into Second Life are failures.

I'm wrapping up an article I've been struggling with for months, about how real-life businesses succeed in Second Life. It's a tough article to do because I think the overwhelming majority of real-life businesses that move into Second Life are failures.

They build big, flashy areas that look great, but which Second Life users don't actually want to visit. They have unrealistic expectations. They fail to offer anything competitive with, or more interesting than, what's already available in Second Life.

Then, when the project bombs, they blame Second Life (registration required).

On the other hand, there are a few companies that have been successful in Second Life, including IBM, Cisco, Sun, and Starwood Hotels. These are companies that take the time to learn about Second Life, they have realistic expectations for success, and they look at the venture as an opportunity to learn as much as an opportunity to win immediate sales or marketing coups.

What do you think makes the difference? What are some examples of real-world companies that have succeeded in Second Life? What are the rules for success, and the ingredients in the recipe for failure?

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