OpenSimulator: The Choice for 2010

But they have absolutely no idea if they have a good business model or not.

Why the stress on business and not on technology? Mostly because Second Life is not an “awesome technological breakthrough”, although it certainly has quite good ideas. The renderer is by far not the best renderer in the world. The user interface was already obsolete in 2001, years before launch. And as we soon will see, not even communication protocols and server implementation are great. Not when compared to other, more sophisticated solutions.

Linden Lab was actually very lucky. They started with the wrong business model, and, even worse, the wrong market. They tried to sell a subscription-based system to games developers, when clearly Second Life was not at the stage where games could be developed on it (and some claim it will never be). Even worse, they started with all the wrong assumptions. Looking at ActiveWorlds, where almost all content is user-created, they tried to push for a similar model — kick-starting with some content (Linden trees, Welcome areas, roads, bridges, and some decorative elements), they hoped that users would do the rest.

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