SL Entrepreneur Profiles: Dakota Neumann, Designer/Owner of 5th Element and Gol Sims

November 19th, 2008  |  Published in SL Entrepreneur Magazine, SL Entrepreneur Profiles  |  2 Comments

By Avarie Parker

I was fortunate enough to sit down with Dakota Neumann at one of his recently designed villas for an insider look at this successful builder and designer. He is most notably the owner of The 5th Element, a very popular dance club that tops the SLENTRE.COM Traffic Report month after month. He is also actively involved with maintaining over 10 sims which house his own private residence, a number of rental units, The 5th Element as well as his luxury pre-fab villas. He admits that he is not in Second Life to get rich – or to even make a profit – but simply to fuel his passion for design. He is meticulous with all of his builds, monitoring them with vigilance so that his vision will not be tampered with by over-eager residents. The villas you see below can be purchased for anywhere from $3500 – $6500 Linden. He usually spends about a week building the structures on one of his vacant sims, carefully working out the details until he feels he’s achieved the desired results. Each villa includes a water feature or pool, making for a very peaceful and serene environment. Below are his thoughts regarding his business ventures and experiences in general in SL:

Dakot Neumann discusses his passion for architecture and design on the patio of Jimbaran, one of his private villas.

(Dakota Neumann discusses his passion for architecture and design on the patio of Jimbaran, one of his private villas.)

How long have you been in SL? Why did you come?
I’ve been in SL since April 2006. And like many here, I entered at the recommendation of a friend.

Map of the cluster of Second Life sims owned by Second Life entrepreneur Dakota Neumann.









(Map of the cluster of Second Life sims owned by Second Life entrepreneur Dakota Neumann.)

Tell me about your current projects in SL? How many parcels do you own? How many clubs?
I own 18 sims and 1 club which I rebuild every 6 months. My primary fascination has to do with architecture, and everything I do is driven by that passion. GOL sims has been rebuilt many times – usually whenever I became bored with how it looked or because I had new evolutionary ideas.

Domino, Second Life private villa designed by Dakota Neumann

(Domino, Second Life private villa designed by Dakota Neumann)

What is currently the most profitable business you own and run?
My private villas for sale – prefab and custom – are at the moment my most profitable business venture. The rental estate is also a good business but not quite as exciting.
Is it hard to make a Second Life club profitable?
I think it all depends on what one means by ‘profitable.’ If you want to make a living, then you’d better invest in what sells most – like skins or high quality clothes, for instance.
Can you estimate your monthly expenses?
My monthly expenses are around 3200 $ USD.
Can you estimate your total investment in Second Life? Has it paid off?
I have invested a huge amount of money. There was no initial payoff, but now I’m conducting business in a more organized way and it is beginning to pay.

Dakota includes water features, like this modern fountain, into all of his designs.

(Dakota includes water features, like this modern fountain, in all of his designs. )

How much time to do you invest in your businesses?
As much as I can – what I do requires many hours every day. On average, I work in SL about 6 hours per day.
What do you enjoy about working in Second Life?
The possibility of creating a world designed to my personal tastes. And to do those things one cannot easily do in RL.
Do you have any time to socialize or are you “all business”?
Not much time to socialize. I know many people and I have friends, but I see them rarely. For the most part, I end up socially communicating via IM.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced as a SL entrepreneur?
Up to this moment, I’ve basically been successful in every SL venture I’ve undertaken. But when LL lowered the lands cost, I lost 60% of all my plain land value in one day.
Has the weakened US economy effected your SL business at all?
Economies are weak all over the world and yes, I believe this situation is affecting SL.
How long do you plan on building and owning clubs in SL?
As long as I’m in SL, I’ll own a club. GOL was born around a club.

What is your RL profession?
I own a small company in the video post-production business.
Does your SL business impact or influence your RL?
It does; probably too much so. Sl cuts in to my available hours for sleep and it can penetrate my daily thought patterns. Any of your RL skills translate into SL building or designing?
My personal way of living and passions definitely translate into SL.
Most promising new industry for business in SL?
It’s difficult to say as everything changes so quickly.
If you had only 10,000Linden to invest, how would you invest it?
That’s probably too little money to invest in anything substantial. Certainly not in clothes.

Biggest mistakes SL entrepreneurs make?
Many of them try to grow too quickly.

Any predictions about the future for SL? New technologies? Growth? New potential uses?
Things will change dramatically when we are able to host the sims we own in our private servers.

Relaxing on the deck of his luxury villa,

(Relaxing on the deck of his luxury villa, “Jimbaran”)

Is there an element of fantasy or escape to the time you spend in Second Life?
I do explore SL to watch others and observe their fantasies and activities.

Related Links

The 5th Element Club:

Luxury Villa Sales:


  1. SLentrepreneur Profiles: And The 2008 SLentrepreneur of the Year Award Nominees Are… says:

    December 1st, 2008at 1:38 pm(#)

    […] Dakota Neumann SLENTRE.COM Profile:… […]

  2. sharon says:

    April 9th, 2009at 9:46 am(#)

    life is cool