Susan Wu, CEO, Ohai: Virtual Goods Make Real Sense

By Ravit Lichtenberg (blog)

[LeWeb 08, Paris] Virtual goods are about connection with consumers but very few consumer services are tapping into the potential virtual goods hold, says Susan Wu, a former VC and the CEO of Ohai.

Why would people spend money on things that only exist in a database?

  • Value: Like brands, spirituality, blessings, prayer—virtual goods too have value even though they are intangible.
  • Context: The world’s largest seller of virtual goods is Tencent—china’s leading IM platform, boasting over $1Bil in revenue and 45% operating margin
  • Purpose: People seek ways to enhance their communications. Virtual goods are used as decorative, functional, behavioral cues and add-ons. SuperPoke is a behavioral virtual good. IMVU features functional virtual goods in the form of user name.

Why people buy virtual goods :

  • Capturing passion and interaction via gifting
  • Create real value: game experience gets better
  • Time vs money: moving interactions online
  • Entrepreneurship opportunities in secondary markets

Virtual goods, concludes Wu, facilitate relationships, passion, and connection–and presents strong business model opportunities.

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