Wiz Nordberg

Make the right business decisions and the world is your oyster. And if that isn’t enough, you can do it all again.

Making business work, from virtually nothing

In March last year I moved into a small, new piece of property and built my first house. Within a week, I met my next-door neighbour Kona and her fiancée Laz. We became good friends and neighbours and over time I gained a genuine respect for how they ran the small business they had on their property.

A few months later, I decided that the small property I bought was too confining. Kona was especially concerned about me leaving the neighborhood. On an impulse, I suggested she and I start a retail centre together; I would put up the money and she would contribute her retailing and management skills.

Now, the new retail centre is almost open for business. It’s called Norcott Centre. In the process, I have met so many new people who have so much creative energy that the experience has revitalised my entire approach to life and business.

I was so impressed with the potential of such new opportunities that I instantly focused my attention on taking some of the assets of my existing tech business and launching them in this new, fertile environment.

Within a month, I had repurposed some of the technologies I had been developing for the last two years to solve problems in this new environment. I now have a new product, SoundReach, which launches in April at the International Technology Expo at Silicon Island.

Even before our official launch, SoundReach has made it possible for companies like Warner Brothers Pictures and The V3 Group to stage presentations and press events in a new and exciting way.

Meanwhile, my wife Texas Timtam, decided to join in. She threw all the resources from her existing company into the mix, and new partners and interested parties started appearing left and right.

So, a new venture was formed, Cattle Puppy Productions, with Texas, Noel Finney, and me, Wiz Nordberg. You may have read about Cattle Puppy in The Age a couple of weeks ago. Cattle Puppy just staged the “Hoe-Down Under”, an entertainment event sponsored by Austrade and is one of the first “virtual promotions” of Australian music to an international audience.

If you haven’t guessed by now, everything I have just told you has taken place in Second Life. If you don’t know what Second Life is, it’s time to find out. The biggest challenge is to weed through the hype and see the reality. Or, the virtual reality.

Before you start getting cynical, consider this: Within two months, our group has taken Australian technologies and products and showcased them in the USA at an extremely low cost.

We have made contacts with some of the most high-profile people in the technology industry. All the business deals just mentioned were done virtually, with virtual hand-shakes and virtual meetings.

In most cases, I have never talked to the real-world counterparts who represent these people, and I don’t care to. In some cases, I don’t know what city they are in, even what country. Some of them didn’t find out I was Australian until long after the deals were done, or even after the events were complete. Such is virtual life.

This “hotbed of networking and opportunity” won’t last forever. Like other rampant new technologies, we’ll see an upward curve of artificial excitement and unjustifiable investment. Adjustments will happen. Things will calm down and eventually mature.

But I’ll wager Cattle Puppy, if we steer carefully, will still be around, still creating entertaining ways to use virtual technologies to market, entertain, and energise those who find the virtual world a more productive path to success than the real world.

To read more about Second Life opportunities and risk read Second Life: Serious business.


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