We are building a permanent virtual enterprise that is structured much like a real life organization, complete with virtual offices, including administrative, management, accounting, legal, marketing, human resources, development, design, production, and quality control divisions among others.
This project partners with BitManagement. I've written about their products quite a bit since I used it for my River of Life project.
An idea has been from my perspective that X3D as the international standard for 3D on the web should enable much cheaper startups for 3D and virtual world projects. That of course means costs for language and core technology development are not expended over say developing one's own viewer and supporting languages.
Servers are a different issue. Projects that enable one to get a MU world up and running fast and reliably without enormous venture capital or private investments could be a VERY GOOD THING as an alternative to renting space in Second Life. The business management of such is yet another topic, but the point is made. Various approaches to doing this have been tried. I will be interested to see how Gauthier's project in partnership with Bit Management fares as the European partners begin to find ways to offset the investments being made in the American and Asian worlds.
This will be a player owned economy. Worlds, scenes and objects are to be added and linked to create a thriving economy of goods, services, and most importantly, communications and relationships. Our premise is that, it is not the individual properties of objects that have value, but the quality of the relationship that they have with each other that creates value.
Good luck! I hope this fares well. Otherwise, it's a watermelon economy for the next ten years.