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Friday, December 13, 2002

Presence Check
So I have been in Honolulu, Hawaii since Wednesday on a business trip.  Definately impacts blogging, but the wierd thing is this is the first time I have been in Hawaii and not felt like it.  Trapped in a metropolis, could be NY or anywhere when you have your head down. 
8:32:06 PM    comment []

Virtual Economies
Virtual World Economics 102 Yesterday, LawMeme noted the incredible economic performance of massive multiplayer online role playing games (Virtual World Economics 101). Today, the New Scientist reports on a new game, Project Entropia, that will convert actual money into virtual world currency (Virtual world will run on real cash). Rather than pay a subscription fee, players will pay actual money to equip their virtual characters. As the virtual equipment "wears out" (entropy - get it?) players will have to fork over more cash to keep their characters properly equipped. An interesting twist on the usual systems.  [LawMeme: Legal Bricolage for a Technological Age]
8:06:46 PM    comment []

Scott Rosenberg on Supernova

Great column on Supernova  by Scott Rosenberg of Salon:

The danger here is that the dynamo of the Silicon Valley boom-bust cycle, in its hunger for Next Big Thing fuel, will seize upon Wi-Fi, blogs and Web services and then spit them out, chewed-up and spent -- before they've ever had a chance to mature and show off their potential...

But, as their creators readily admit, those are not the kinds of enterprises to make venture capitalists salivate. By any rational view, the decentralized technology world Supernova envisioned is one in which small operators can make a living, but nobody is going to make a killing.

[Scott Rosenberg's Links & Comment]

Scott seizes upon the culture of the Supernova conference, that of technologists building things as much for themselves or innovation sake, as opposed to engineering for customers.  He also raises the debate that was missing from the conference on how these technologies relate to business models.

We are at the beginning of a bell curve here, for a few potentially large markets -- and they very well may be markets of arms merchants.  Although there may be no center, there will certainly be hubs.  Being a large arms merchant in a large market is good business to be in.  Being a modest and independent arms merchant is a fantastic lifestyle business.  There will be room for all kinds.

Sure investors aren't foaming at the mouth.  There is no center to fixate upon.  That coupled with the general economic malaise is creating a rare opportunity for these technologies to mature openly.  The timing of these parallel diffusions is further strengthed by weblogs to provide feedback loop -- these revolutions will be bloggerized.  By the time they are adapted for mainstream markets they will be more robust than any created with more speculative investment during the boom.

What will be really interesting is if decentralized market structures challenge VC convention that there are only 3 winners in each market and one big one.  Much of that theory of competition is based upon models with larger transaction costs for each market participant.

3:40:19 PM    comment []

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