We’re rushing to complete IN3—the third issue of Inside Innovation and there are fascinating stories in it, including one on Second Life. The more I see in Second Life, the more I realize that one of the most important business opportunities there is mining intentionality. This is a phrase my brilliant colleague Frank Comes came up with to describe what’s going in in that space.
People in SL are expressing what they would LIKE to do in reality. For example, it’s easy to pimp your car in second life and clearly lots of people want to customize their transport there. All the major auto companies are piling into SL to learn about this—and build their big after-market customizing business in the real world.
Ditto for hotels. Starwood is designing a new brand of hotel—Aloft—in SL by letting people mess around inside their virtual hotel concept, showing what they like, what they don’t.
It’s about intention, what people intend to do if given the possibility. Intentionality is part of the ethnography space, part of that unmet needs thing. My guess is that every company, every organization will want to be in Second Life to get at, to mine, this intentionality, as a basis for developing new products and services.
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