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Steve Case - The Third Wave

An Entrepreneur's Vision for the Future. Interview with the Co-Founder of AOL

 
co-founder AOL-TotalPicture interviewSteve Case

One of America's most accomplished entrepreneurs-a pioneer who made the Internet part of everyday life and orchestrated the largest (and perhaps most infamous) merger in history (AOL - Time Warner), provides a roadmap for how to succeed in a world of rapidly changing technology.

'You've got mail', remember that? AOL was so ubiquitous in the 1990's that "You've Got Mail" was the title of a romcom staring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. AOL WAS the Internet in the 90's.

Welcome to a Big Picture channel podcast on TotalPicture. This is Peter Clayton. I'm delighted to have on the show today Steve Case, who's career began when he cofounded America Online (AOL) in 1985. At the time, only three percent of Americans were online. It took a decade for AOL to achieve mainstream success, and there were many near-death experiences and back-to-the-wall pivots. AOL became the top performing company of the 1990s, and at its peak more than half of all consumer Internet traffic in the United States ran through the service. After Case engineered AOL's merger with Time Warner and he became Chairman of the combined business, Case oversaw the biggest media and communications empire in the world.

In his new book, titled The Third Wave, he pays homage to the work of the futurist Alvin Toffler (from whom Case has borrowed the title, and whose work inspired him as a young man), Case takes us behind the scenes of some of the most consequential and riveting business decisions of our time while offering illuminating insights from decades of working as an entrepreneur, an investor, a philanthropist, and an advocate for sensible bipartisan policies.

We are entering, as Case explains, a new paradigm called the "Third Wave" of the Internet. The first wave saw AOL and other companies lay the foundation for consumers to connect to the Internet. The second wave saw companies like Google and Facebook build on top of the Internet to create search and social networking capabilities, while apps like Snapchat and Instagram leverage the smartphone revolution. Now, Case argues, we're entering the Third Wave: a period in which entrepreneurs will vastly transform major "real world" sectors like health, education, transportation, energy, and food-and in the process change the way we live our daily lives. But success in the Third Wave will require a different skill set, and Case outlines the path forward.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.

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