Starting a virtual company

April 5, 2008

The idea to start “Babel Translations” occured to me while talking to an avatar in the Dublin sim back in June 2007. I figured that unlike in RL, it is ridiculously easy to start a company in SL. So I set myself a budget of 1000 L$ (which was almost everything I had back then) and 4 weeks time to give it a try. From there, I more or less learned as I went, for example introducing a halfway professional bookkeeping only as late as January 2008 with the help of my friend and associate Tina. Yet within 10 months, we made Babel Translations the premiere translation and copywriting agency.

When I spoke to Ivanova several weeks ago about starting GREENE concept, I could profit from this experience. Without spending a single L$ yet, we started a brainstorming process using Google Docs, discussing what we plan to do, evaluating ideas, and coming up with a range of initial products. We also used Google Docs to collaborate on a partner agreement, and when we started GREENE concept on April 1st, I had an expense and revenue tracking spreadsheet ready.

The more you think about things, the more details you notice. For example texture upload costs. The 10 L$ fee for each texture does not seem a lot, but then again Ivanova uploads a whole lot of textures during development, so those costs accumulate.

On the sales and marketing side, we also profit from past experience. Things I did much later with Babel were implemented right from the start: our own group, email adresses, and of course this blog. We also set up OnRez and SL Exchange accounts, so our products will be immediately available through the most common channels.

Running GREENE concept will be another interesting experience. Ivanovas designs, and my experience with Babel Tranlsations, will benefit us in the future. Stay tuned.

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