A Second Life For Business - Second Life: Is Business Ready For Virtual Worlds?: Is Business Ready For Second Life: "But Chris Holdren, vice president of Web services at Starwood Hotels, who oversaw the construction of a hotel in Second Life a prototype of the new Aloft brand hotels scheduled to appear in the real world in 2008 says Second Life presents enough opportunities that corporate technology leaders should pay attention to it. 'I definitely think they should learn about it and understand it,' he says. 'Whether they invest in it is a more complicated question.'"
Pay attention indeed. The Web innovations already underway will make the Dotcom revolution pale by comparison. What we once thought of as the virtual world ain't so virtual anymore, as more and more real business is conducted online. In fact, the online experience for many of these transactions is a far more desirable, in terms of convenience and efficiency, than the real deal (think about standing in line at a bank or to check in for air travel.
Somewhere in the convergence of "conventional" ecommerce and services like Second Life, something new will emerge, a truly virtual experience that will make all this typing and clicking seem like smoke signals and cave paintings.
In this new world, even more so than now, success will go to the innovators. Those innovators are already making the effort to understand the future.