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Why do people buy virtual goods? February 8, 2009

Posted by jeremyliew in digital goods, virtual goods.

I have an opinion piece in the WSJ.com on why people buy virtual goods today.


1. WhatsYourPlace » Blog Archive » Why do People Buy Virtual Goods? - February 9, 2009

[…] we already referenced to Jeremy Liew as one of the best resources to find on virtual goods. Today I learned on his blog that Jeremy has written on  “Why do People Buy Virtual Goods” for Wall Street Journal. […]

2. Metabolic Weight Loss Review » Discount Health Supplements, Vitamins, Herbal Extracts - February 10, 2009

[…] Why do people buy virtual goods? « Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog […]

3. David - February 10, 2009

hmm…hope to read an article in the WSJ that goes something like “Why people should STOP buying virtual goods”.
It doesn’t do any good for anyone for the virtual goods industry to grow. These are dollars better spent on other things: cover debt/mortgage, health, etc. Even if these dollars are “entertainment dollars”, then movies, books and music should be their destinations, as they support substantial job creating/preserving opportunities.

4. spanky - February 10, 2009

“Why people should STOP buying virtual goods”. HUH? I guess you’re not aware that the UGC virtual worlds allow many 3D developers to leave their day jobs. And believe it or not, there are MILLIONS of people out there that would disagree w/ your statement: “It doesn’t do any good for anyone for the virtual goods industry to grow.”

And thx, Jeremy, for the imvu mention.

5. June - February 10, 2009

Virtual goods create jobs too… thousands and thousands of programming monkeys.

6. Chris - February 13, 2009

Nice one, thanks a lot great piece.

7. Orlando Fernandes - February 13, 2009

There is another much ignored aspect of gift giving and receiving I could not find in your write-up, and perhaps missing in genuine social interactions too: Wherein one gifts just because one wants to make the receiver truly happy, and on the part of the receiver, accepting it because it will please the giver immensely.

8. David - February 15, 2009

Why the virtual goods economy should not grow, part 2:
The Outstanding Public Debt as of 16 Feb 2009 is $10.7 trillion.
The estimated population of the United States is 305,653,924
so each citizen’s share of this debt is $35,235.85.
So, in order to get out of debt, all of us need to cut spending, or invent new ways to increase our national income (export wise).

Let’s agree that virtual good spending constitutes an “entertainment” spending. If a U.S. consumer has to chose between buying a virtual gift or a movie ticket, then for the overall national income buying a movie ticket makes much more sense. The reason is that movies are exported worldwide. In developing countries, Europe and other areas in the world they are tracking what’s “hot” here, buy tickets to those movies, and that increases the revenues of the entertainment industry, increase income from taxes, and hence improves national debt. This is not the case with virtual goods – massive purchase of virtual goods by U.S. consumers does not drive spending of foreign currency into the U.S.
If, on the other hand, the U.S. consumer increases his entertainment spending as a result of a purchase of a virtual good, then it increases our national debt as well (increase of spending without greater increase of income).
I love start-ups, but I think programmers and engineers should be working on things that make us all more efficient in spending, or reduce our spending, or increase export of U.S. services and goods.
If you can find a way to export virtual goods abroad – that I’m all for it, so as long as one can prove that the export indeed far exceeds local consumption.
I suspect this is not the case, hence my call for VCs not to continue investing in virtual goods , as it has net negative effect on the U.S. economy.

9. WhatsYourPlace » Blog Archive » The Best Blogs on Virtual Goods - May 14, 2009

[…] Lightspeed Venture Partners (2.949) – VC with tremendous expertise in virtual goods – recommended reading: Why Do People Buy Virtual Goods? […]

10. Why Buying Virtual Goods « GEARWORKERS - November 20, 2009

[…] facing the truth, buying virtual goods was all about buying pixels. There we already referenced to Jeremy Liew as one of the most informed capacities to find on virtual goods. Today I learned on his blog that […]

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