So after all these months of blogging I have toot my own horn a little and say that I work for a really cool company. This coming week Starwood will become the first company in history to open a new hotel brand inside of a virtual world. The new hotel concept called Aloft will open inside the popular online world of Second Life. Starwood partnered with the Electric Sheep Company to build a virtual version of is new hotel which will not open in the real world until 2008. The cool part is that they can then take the feedback from the virtual hotel and use it to alter the plans for the real hotel before it is even build. The whole process can been seen on a blog called Virtual Aloft which documented the entire process.
After spending a few weeks working for Starwood I am not convinced that these kinds of ideas can be done large agencies anymore. The agency process has become so cumbersome that by the time the ideas are conceived, pitched, approved and built you have missed your window of opportunity and someone else has beat you to market.