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Monday, February 16, 2009


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Zillow Dejavu

I was going through a rough spot this past summer and missed the launch altogether. Sounds like I didn't miss much. But I'm sill puzzled as to why Google folded Lively so quickly. Anyone who launches a new venture knows (or should) that it takes time. With all their resources it seems that with determination and patience Google could have found a winning formula.

Then again, Google has so much going on that Lively maybe wasn't a big priority. Second Life was a priority for Linden Labs and they stuck with it, luckily for all of us. Anyone know what SL's numbers were like during the first few months?

Harper Ganesvoort

No; not...Bob...NOOOOOOO!

Koinup Burt

It seems that Google is deleting several projects that were deployed or bought to expand the business of the big G in a sort speculative/futuristic way.

Virtual Worlds weren't exactly the core business of Google, but it looked to many that Google was giving them a try...

Probably because of the the worlds economic recession, the board decided to focus on the more direct-well known and well proven business models, as search, advertising, open social applications, etc...

There are many virtual worlds that don't have yet the numbers of SL, but they continue to stay alive. I think to Vivaty, Twinity, Kaneva, Vside, etc...

I think that probably along with the not-so-good numbers, Google deleted Lively because it wanted to give a sign of austherity to its shareholders


"but they continue to stay alive. I think to Vivaty, Twinity, Kaneva, Vside, etc..."

VC burn......

Nexii Malthus

Lively was a failure from the start, because it wasn't even a virtual 'world' to begin worth, just a virtual room, kind of like IMVU. Making content for it wasn't even a possibility, just modifying the existing a little bit. It wasn't really much of an independant program as a virtual world should be either.

If it was going to be a virtual world then it was such an extremely premature release. As well as being badly programmed and not well thought out.

Dedric Mauriac

Lively reminded me of IMVU. It was just disconnected 3D chat rooms. It did not give the feeling of being in a virtual world at all. There wasn't much else you could really do other than move furniture around and chat.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Google often does projects that fail spectacularly :) This is definitely not the only one, and will not be the last.

An internal source I've got (which I won't name :) ) told me that internally this project was hated by most employees anyway (excluding, of course, the 3D group). Google's got a very democratic internal corporate culture, and the project was voted down by its employees to be shut down.

Then again, this was clearly a case where "Google did all wrong". There is absolutely not a single redeeming quality of Lively beyond having the brand Google behind its name. The avatars were ugly; it was painstakingly slow; to follow up in-world chat bubbles were a nightmare, so you had to open the chat history window which would cover 2/3 of the viewport (so, in effect, you'd be in a text-based chatroom and pretty much ignore the 3D virtual world aspect of it); it was hard to find friends; and everything else was insanely difficult to do (even moving). It's quite hard to imagine a *worse* virtual world, and I cannot possibly imagine what crossed Google's mind to even launch it that way, when an obvious choice would have been a "Google Earth With Avatars And SketchUp Models" (they had everything except the avatars to launch it).

Dedric, IMVU, by contrast, has 20+ million users, over 100,000 content creators offering 2 million or so items for sale :)

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