I attended last night’s IdeaMensch event at Rally Pad, which turned out to be an incredibly inspiring and enlightening event. Among the speakers were Pando Daily’s Sarah Lacy, who came off as cocky, no nonsense and totally kick-ass, and Philip Rosedale who, I was surprised to find, was humble, intensely nerdy and – not as surprising – also totally kick-ass.
Rosedale is the guy behind former media darling Second Life, where folks engage in a free, open-ended online world, building it as they go along. It predates the current media darling MineCraft by about a decade, but seems to have lost favor with the geek community. As Rosedale pointed out in last night’s speech, Second Life grew to a community of about 1 million active users, then flattened growth. In startup land, flat growth means death. Nevermind the fact that those 1 million users still produce about $700 million in annual revenue, which Rosedale says is more than enough to keep the servers spinning, the developers fixing bugs and adding functionality and the company running. Continue reading