HG Biz Plan: Hyperport

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering products and services in this metaverse.  My team and I have been brainstorming some ideas of what these products and services will look like.

Two different types of hypergates on Festa 24H region of OSGrid.

The business

Hypergrid travelers need a way to find interesting new grids. Back in the early days of the Web, hierarchical directories like Yahoo served the same purpose, grouping together websites by common interest. Eventually, the hypergrid will grow too big, and Google-style search engines will take over, but, until then, hyperports can serve the same function. These airport-style venues will allow travelers to discover new grids — while also creating a way for grid owners, merchants, and other companies to advertise themselves to travelers.

The revenue streams

As with Yahoo, advertising will be the primary revenue stream. However, a successful hyperport company can also leverage its brand to expand into other areas, such as hosting, asset creations and inventories, managing virtual relationships, providing virtual currencies, renting facilities for events, or running marketplaces.

Scalability

Managing traffic flows, especially as the number of destinations and travelers both increase, will be the major difficulty — and a big opportunity to funnel visitors past advertisements and stores, just as with traditional airports.

Competitive advantage

A list of destinations, by itself, can not be copyrighted and can be easily copied by competitors. Brand recognition, however, is difficult to match, as are relationships with advertisers and merchants.

Risks

Many companies tried, and failed, to duplicate Yahoo’s success by setting up their own Web directories. Eventually, however, the Web grew too large for a directory to make any sense, and Yahoo had to innovate to find other needs it could meet such as email, instant messaging, news, and groups. A hyperport company that fails to find new niches will quickly become irrelevant.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Is the best we can do trying to do what has already been done in old school 2D web?  It seems rather unimaginative.  Adware will be gated around by savvy users and by those businesses that offer a bit more than attempting to sell avatar eyeballs.  Inventory services, matching avies and interests, virtual meetups, virtual experiences and events, region designers, builders, scripters, world customers,  yes – and more.  But ads?  Not so much imho. 

    • Seraph — 

      I’m sure folks will be coming up with really innovative uses for grids, too. But in one sense, all businesses are derivative, since we only have so many needs. Amazon is a Web version of a bookstore. Google the Web version of 411. eBay the Web version of an auction house. Craigslist the Web version of newspaper classifieds. Facebook is new… but it evolved from Friendster and MySpace and college student directories. 

      And yes, savvy users will gate around adware — but remember that a lot of businesses become very profitable by UNDERestimating the intelligence of their customers. 🙂