Steve Case—a pioneer who made the Internet part of everyday life—was on the leading edge of a revolution in 1985 when he co-founded AOL, the first Internet company to go public and the most successful business of the 1990s. Back then Case was an entrepreneur in an industry that hadn’t really been invented yet, but he had a sense how dramatically the Internet would transform business and society. In The Third Wave, he uses his insights garnered from nearly four decades of working as an innovator, investor, and businessman to argue the importance of entrepreneurship and to chart a path for future innovators.
We are entering, as Case explains, 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 leveraged the smartphone revolution. Now, Case argues, we’re entering the Third Wave: a period in which entrepreneurs will vastly transform major “real world” sectors such as health, education, transportation, energy, and food—and in the process change the way we live our daily lives.
Part memoir, part manifesto, and part playbook for the future, The Third Wave explains the ways in which newly emerging technology companies will have to rethink their relationships with customers, with competitors, and with governments; and offers advice for how entrepreneurs can make winning business decisions and strategies—and how all of us can make sense of this ever-changing digital age.