Infoweek reports that 90% of virtual world projects fail, including the many companies that rushed into building a virtual presence on virtual worlds such as Second Life and There.com.
It appears a lot of companies established a presence in virtual worlds simply because it was 'the thing to do'. These presences tended to be virtual locations, such as stores and exhibitions. In reality, what most people are interested in is collaborating with people. It is widely known that most 'collaboration' on Second Life is gambling and sex. How uses of virtual worlds will move beyond this to other things, such as for businesses promoting their products, remains a mystery.