Philip Rosedale: Master of Virtual World. To Be A Master of Real World
First of all, Philip Rosedale, thank you so much for giving us this wonderful opportunity to interview you and share your wisdom with people around the world. When I first played Second Life, it was a completely new experience that I got blown away.
Philip Rosedale is a serial entrepreneur and investor, most well-known for the founder of Second Life, which is the world most famous virutal world inhabited by millions. Second Life has been used by many different types of people from geek to artist. Today, he shares with us "how to create your own life."
-----For those who are not familiar with you, let us know more about you. How did you get interested in coding and why did you decide to learn physics in university?
I built electronic circuits as a kid and started programming as soon as affordable computers were available - my first computer was a Timex Sinclair that I bought at a flea market when I was in middle school. I loved programming and in particular the idea of programming emergent systems and exploring to what degree computers could simulate the physics of the real world. I studied Physics in college because I already felt fairly strong in Computer Science and wanted to better understand how the world worked to inspire further software work.
-----How has your experience of learning physics helped you code or manage businesses?
Physics is a very practical thing to study because you have to take apart the way things work with observations and build sensible models based on what you see. These strategies apply to many things, not just physical systems. Studying physics helps you think very generally about building things.
-----Why do you keep developing something new? What does drive you to jump into an entrepreneurial world?
I was always entrepreneurial, having started my first software business at 16. I didn’t have a lot of money growing up and not a lot to lose in trying to start my own companies. Nowadays what keeps me going is my passion about seeing and helping with what is going to happen to the world as virtual reality becomes widely used.
-----I assume you have seen many different kinds of people. What is a common misperception that people have about being successful?
People believe that being an entrepreneur is a career choice, like being a doctor, and that by studying entrepreneurship you can get better at it. That’s not true: Great entrepreneurs arise when people cannot help themselves from wanting to build something they are dreaming about. It isn’t something that you study.
-----You seem to be a big thinker who builds the future. At the same time, you pay attention to the statistics that is observing the past. How do you balance between your vision, which has not been realized in the present, and the data that reflects the past?
I mostly think about the future. I think about whether, with the tools that are currently available, I can do something I am dreaming about. Whether you are too early is the greatest risk of building something genuinely new.
-----If you have a big idea, what do you need to remember to make it happen?
Never give up.
-----Even though creativity is not a physical object, people try to apply Newtonian mechanics to creativity that they look for a formula like A+B=C. As a result, normally, it does not work. What are truly important to make the most of your potential do you think?
Creativity is the window that allows you to see an idea. But it doesn’t make the idea happen. There are a lot more creative people than successful ones. What is important is to have sufficient passion to be motivated to work really hard to make that idea happen.
-----There is no limit and all the resources are available. What would you like to create?
A virtual world larger than our own - another universe for us to explore together.
-----If you can make a call to 20-year-old Philip Rosedale, what kind of advice you would give to him?
To not doubt yourself.
-----If you can leave one message to make the world better, what would be your message?
Use technology to learn as much as you can about people far away from you.