Israel, London, Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good, Silicon Valley, Videos, Web/Tech

Virtual Worlds....Really?

We have a few pieces posting on Tech Ticker today and Monday that parse through a lot of the first quarter venture capital data. I've never interviewed that many people in studio at once and not sure how good of a job I did :(  (Video on the jump and more on TT)

Anyway- among the biggest surprises to me was how hot virtual worlds were in the first quarter. (and how hard it is to say "virtual worlds") Wha???

I heard a lot about virtual world companies in Europe and Israel, but my impression was it wasn't a US phenomenon any longer. Some bets were made, Club Penguin did well, Second Life-- eh, we'll see. I just don't think virtual worlds are like social networking where everyone will one day use one in some way. In short, because they're don't meld your online self with your offline self-- it makes them more distinct. That seems so at odds with how the Web is developing to me.

I'm sure there are some niches and some good bets, but $185 million worth in one quarter? Sheesh. Do you want to lose money, Sand Hill Road? Assuming it has mostly been momentum chasing the kids space, which is an untapped area of development online. Still...let's get our heads back in reality here.

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I'm glad to see the research is helpful. If you (or anyone else is interested), the numbers everyone is talking here came from Virtual Worlds Management and can be found here:
http://www.virtualworldsmanagement.com/2008/q1.html
http://www.virtualworldsmanagement.com/2008/youthworlds.html

Thanks for picking them up!

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