Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:2:27

Video transcript

- I'm Philip Rosedale, I'm the Founder and now the Chairman of SecondLife. As a kid I was into tinkering and building things and electronics and as computers became widely available I became a programmer. I just couldn't get out of my head, the idea that the coolest thing you could possibly do with computers and then with the internet was to create a virtual world. Well SecondLife is kinda like the world's biggest LEGO kit in a way. It's a virtual world, a three-dimensional world in which everything is built by the people who come there so it's a kind of a blank canvas in which you can build anything. The other thing that's fascinating about it as a virtual world is that we go there, that people are present there as avatars, these digital projections of ourselves into that world. The beginning of it was my belief that it would be this amazing kind of visual playground with all this architecture and all these things built by people. And that was true to an even greater extent than I had imagined, but the part that I really hadn't imagined was what it would be like to have people in there, this idea of the avatar, this idea of going into that world as a digital person was something that I really didn't understand and I think that the ultimate success of SecondLife and the tremendous impact it had in the media and kinda in the minds of everyone who even heard about it much less used it, was greater because of that idea of the avatar. Well one of the obstacles we had to overcome with SecondLife was simply waiting and not spending too much money while we waited. I had been passionate about building a virtual world like SecondLife literally since the end of high school, but I didn't believe until 1999 that the technology was in place to enable a business to be built around a virtual world. And so in that time in between I actually told all my friends I gotta wait. I cannot do this yet. The technology is not here to make a real business around a virtual world. You know every really futuristic idea goes through a pretty predictable growth pattern of really pretty linear, gradual growth at the beginning, followed by a sort of a gradual inflection where the product finally becomes non-linear. Most technology projects, especially the really great, futuristic ones, take several years to mature into a form where they can start to make money, and so as an entrepreneur you gotta be ready to wait several years and you've gotta have investors that are willing to wait and for SecondLife that was very true.