Saturday, August 4, 2007
Philip Rosedale, Founder of Linden Labs and Second Life
I saw Prabal’s Article on secondlife.com so I thought why not know about the person behind Second Life.
Philip Rosedale built his first computer in 4th grade, and started his first computer software company while still in high school. In '95 he developed FreeVue, a low-bitrate video conferencing system for Internet-connected PC's, which was eventually acquired by RealNetworks. He worked at RealNetworks for three years and eventually became the CTO. He decided to leave in 1999 and joined Accel Partners as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. There he founded Linden Labs, a company which had the audacious goal to build an immersive 3-D virtual world for people to live and play in. That world became Second Life.
Second Life is a place where anyone can have just that. It is a richly detailed virtual world where anything a computer programmer can imagine can exist: There are minutely detailed replicas of Rockefeller Center and human-size raccoons; sex and sadism and spiritual retreats; conference calls and a currency exchange. Almost all of it is created by the people who pay to dwell in it. Linden Lab, the San Francisco company that created and owns Second Life, acts as a sort of laissez-faire government. It makes money primarily by selling property, of which it can conjure an infinite amount.
Second Life’s economy has a real currency that you can exchange U.S. dollars to get a currency, and that if you make money in Second Life by building things, selling things, providing a service, doing whatever, you can actually take those Linden dollars that you earned, and you can go to this currency exchange, and turn them back into US dollars and pay your rep in the real world.
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