• Eric Ries on the Lean Startup's Back-Story

    (Founder Stories) Eric Ries: Missing The Bullseye Made The Lean Startup

    In this episode of Founder Stories with host Chris Dixon, Dixon sits down with The Lean Startup author, Eric Ries. Ries tells Dixon about his early experience with startup failure in Silicon Valley and how that led him to launching IMVU, where “instead of spending years and millions of dollars in stealth mode we put a product in customers hands in full open public beta in six… Read More

  • The Year In Virtual Goods By The Numbers

    The global virtual goods industry put up some very impressive numbers this year. From special Easter eggs to virtual ad campaigns, virtual goods sales have grabbed their share of headlines over the past twelve months. Now with social gaming on the rise and everyone from your teenage nephew to your grandma to your old rugby teammate buying a “little something” to sweeten their… Read More

  • IMVU's Virtual Cash Cow: Doubling Revenues, Focused On Gaming (Video)

    Just three years ago, IMVU was burning cash at a rate of half a million per month and still not profitable. The 3D virtual world, where souped-up avatars run amok, was gaining users but not on a path to sustainability. Fast forward to 2010, IMVU is increasing its staff by 50% (going from 60 to 90 employees) and is on track to double sales this year. Currently, the company is at an annual… Read More

  • IMVU Gets Pretty Racey With Those Ads

    Thanks to reader tips we’ve had a chance to see IMVU’s racey new animated banner ads showing two women kissing as they fall downwards horizontally. The ad includes the message “live the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.” I signed up immediately. The ad was spotted on Ustream, which prohibits content that is obscene or includes “pornography, erotica… Read More

  • Virtual World Hangouts: So Many To Choose From

    The avatars roaming many online virtual communities may be cartoonish and their activities inconsequential, but the recent sale of Club Penguin to Disney for $350 million (with $350 million in earn out) demonstrates that the business of casual immersive worlds, or virtual hangouts, is not entirely child’s play. Virtual hangouts are where people can engage each other using imaginary… Read More