OCCUPATION: Founder and CEO of Linden Lab
NUMBER OF TIME COVERS: 0
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES ON THE TIME 100: 1
PRO: The creator of Second Life has reason to jump for joy, or at least force his avatar to: market-research firm Gartner predicted that by the end of 2011, 80% of active Internet users will have some sort of presence in a virtual world. Second Life is one of the most populous sites, and brands from Reebok to Toyota have set up shop there.
CON: But maybe not populous enough to live up to the hype: millions of users are registered, but only a fraction are active. Age-verification may eat into some virtual businesses. Linden banned banking in Second Life to reduce risk to its economy and currency, but external banks have sprung up. How long before a virtual Bear Stearns needs bailing out?
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