New Zealand developer OutSmart go public with their virtual world offering this week. The Smallworlds team can be rightly proud of what they have achieved in terms of leveraging Kiwi creativity and generating a bankable global business opportunity. I was invited to be a beta tester on the site earlier this year and consequently got my son (7) and stepson (10) to try it out. The fact that they were so enthusiastic about it augurs well for the future.
Not only is Smallworlds safe and child-friendly, but it requires only an Adobe Flash plug-in to run within a browser. No expensive software downloads or monthly subscriptions. The site is hosted around the globe on Amazon’s EC2 cloud server array.
But Smallworlds will have wide appeal to young adults as well. You can personalise your avatar, set up and furnish your 3D virtual home and create a virtual pet that trots around after you adoringly. Then you can invite friends over to play pool or listen to music. And it’s all free to access. Have fun with it.
It was with much relief that we overcame the roadblocks that beset our baby start-up last week. Our internal wiki and email is in good health again and our funky web design expert is back home from the wilds of Bosnia (where Internet access is still a challenge to say the least!). So we now have a cool new logo and the makings of a website at last.
My CTO proudly showed me the server rack he acquired on TradeMe. It looks very impressive, all black and shiny with impressive LED displays. You know that you really do have an Internet business on your hands when your company owns a server rack. But can we spin some gold from all that silicon?
By the way, speaking of cost effective infrastructure for start-ups, Helen Baxter* links here to an interesting article on how the real cost of starting a business continues to fall as technology and connectivity improve. Food for thought.
* It was great to finally meet the effervescent Ms Baxter who was in town mentoring at X|Media|Lab last week. XML was the best event I’ve been to in years and I will devote some space to sharing about it very soon.