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The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future

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One of America’s most accomplished entrepreneurs—a pioneer who made the internet part of everyday life and orchestrated the largest merger in the history of business—shares a roadmap for how anyone can succeed in a world of rapidly changing technology.

Steve Case’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 The Third Wave, which 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.

The Third Wave is part memoir, part manifesto, and part playbook for the future. With passion and clarity, Case explains the ways in which newly emerging technology companies (a growing number of which, he argues, will not be based in Silicon Valley) 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 changing digital age.

240 pages, Hardcover

First published April 5, 2016

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Steve Case

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 332 reviews
Profile Image for Alok Mishra.
Author 16 books1,185 followers
July 19, 2019
One of the most informative and visionary non-fiction titles that I have read recently. I will recommend this book to everyone I know who is interested in establishing something big... personally, I also felt only more motivated and energetic. Young minds and young blood will certainly make it big in the coming future.
Profile Image for Brad Feld.
Author 37 books2,344 followers
April 8, 2016
Every entrepreneur out there should grab a copy of The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case and read it.

If you don’t know Steve, you’ve probably heard of him. He’s had a remarkably entrepreneurial journey starting with co-founding AOL in the 1980s. While AOL has now been absorbed into Verizon (after having been bought, spun out, and bought again) at its peak around 2000 nearly half of all Internet users in the US accessed the internet via AOL and everyone over the age of 40 knows how to say “You have mail.”

I’ve gotten to know Steve over the past six years through the Startup America Partnership (where he was Chairman) and then UP Global (where he was also Chairman). I’ve learned a lot from him both from reflecting on the past and talking about the future.

I was excited when he told me he was finally writing a book. I loved the title, as I’m a big Alvin Toffler fan as I describe in my post from nine months ago titled What Is The “Third Wave” Of This Generation? I didn’t have an answer for this question got an email a few days later from Steve.

“Hi Brad. I saw your tweet and blog. I too was inspired by Toffler’s Third Wave. I’m now working on a book (my first!) with some of my recollections of the past, but mostly my perspectives on the future. And, in part to honor Toffler, I’m calling it The Third Wave. I’m finalizing the manuscript now. It builds off the article I wrote for the Washington Post a few months ago. Happy to send the current draft to you to critique, if you have time to read it in the next week. (I have told Simon & Schuster they’d get a final manuscript at the end of the month.) Let me know if you’d like to see it. Thanks.”

A week later I’d read it and got some specific suggestions back to Steve with the punch line:

“Overall I think the book is excellent. I love the thesis about The Third Wave as applied to entrepreneurship.”

This is an important book that I think will stimulate a lot of thinking about the future for any entrepreneur. It also helps understand the potential futures better by reflecting on the past through Steve’s own journey, especially around AOL.

If you are an entrepreneur, make time to read The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future. Steve – thanks for taking the time to write it.
Profile Image for Carolyn Kost.
Author 3 books102 followers
June 13, 2016
In the Preface, Case states, "I didn't want to write a memoir....[or] a guidebook for budding entrepreneurs...but I did want to explain why the rules of the entrepreneurial game are changing." This was far more memoir than explanation of why the rules for entrepreneurship or changing or, as the title suggests, vision for a Third Wave. It even falls short of the typical airplane business book. There is nothing new here, nothing exceptional. Case states that what the US needs to do is invest more money in research and development, make it easier to raise money for startups, make it easier to hire top talent (especially from other countries), and make new rules for the new economy, namely a "happy medium...between full employment...benefits and stability...and contractor status, which provides flexibility and mobility." If that's your idea of an innovative plan for an earthshaking future, this book is for you. If that's ho-hum, skip it. There are so many better books out there that really examine thoughtfully what we need to do to prepare for the future. See Jaron Lanier, Eric Ries, etc.
Profile Image for Christopher Lewis Kozoriz.
825 reviews262 followers
January 5, 2020
"In the Third Wave, there will opportunities to innovate in every sector, touching every aspect of our lives. So think about how you can attack these old, often intractable problems in new ways.
And remember this: The Internet of Everything will affect every aspect of our lives, in increasingly seamless ways. Use this tool for your advantage."
(Steve Case, The Third Wave, Page 190-191)

Written by billionaire, Steve Case. He currently has a net worth of 1.5 billion. However, during its heyday his company was worth over 160 billion. Which company was that? AOL (America Online). Some of you may well remember those discs that came in the mail with free trials and you had to insert them into your computer and then tie up your phone line to access the Internet? That's the one! The Author is one of the founders and CEO. Of course we know that AOL did not end well after broadband came along. Nevertheless, the Author did become wealthy because before AOL's demise he was smart enough to merge with Time Warner. He talks about this in this book. In retrospect, we can say, "what were they thinking?" Didn't they know that dial-up would one day become antiquated?

I highly recommend that this book also be read with two other billionaire books that I have read: Ted Turner, Call Me Ted and Ted Leonsis, The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Life and Work. Both of these books will give you insight into the heights and demise of AOL from different perspectives.

This book is not only about AOL, but it is about what the Author has labelled The Third Wave. He says there have been three waves of the Internet so far:

Laying the foundation for the online world

Search, social, and ecommerce startups grow on top of the Internet

Ubiquitous connectivity allows entrepreneurs to transform major, real-world sectors

He gives a good example of a company in the Third Wave being Airbnb. He says of this, "Empower your team to ask questions and, where no answers exist, to create new ones. Give them the space to innovate and experiment. Take more "shots on goal." Allow more crazy ideas to bubble up, because the very best ideas often sound ridiculous when first proposed. Surely, executives at Marriott and Hilton would have thought that the idea of renting an air mattress or a room in an apartment was insane. But in 2015, seven years after starting, Airbnb was valued at $25 billion, making it worth more than either of the hospitality powerhouses, both of which have been around for more than half a century..." He calls these ideas "disruptors" to the way things have always been done.

This was an interesting read. You will learn some history of AOL and his thesis on what is coming in the third wave of the Internet, that being all sectors will be transformed by the Internet, and how you can get in on the action too!
Profile Image for Andrew.
655 reviews185 followers
January 10, 2017
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future, is a look at the coming "Third Wave" of internet/telecommunications technologies from AOL founder Steve Case. Case mixes this light analysis with anecdotes on his time at AOL and his experiences and failures within that company, and a fairly light look at coming industry trends and entrepreneurial factors that may impact the future economy.

Case begins by going through his history at AOL and tying it to the "First Wave" of the internet era, which focused on starting internet companies and bringing products and services to the widely computer-illiterate public. He goes over the difficulties of starting an internet business in that era, which included a stigma and distrust of the new products, and competition between big players like Apple and Microsoft, who wished to buy out any competition they could to maximize their own market share. AOL navigated these waters and eventually became one of the most valuable publicly traded companies of the 90's internet boom. It offered a number of services by innovating it's product base and creating a service that was quite unique and accessible to users at the time.

Case largely skips the "Second Wave" or the current wave, which is platform/application based technologies and services. Companies like Google, Amazon, Spotify and so on have begun to bridge the gap between internet services, brought a higher quality service to users, innovated on first wave ideas, and created massive and varied products and services to satisfy the whims of users and consumers.

The book is really about what Case calls the "Third Wave." For Case, this goes beyond just the Internet-of-Things mentality, and is a movement toward completely digitized products and services. Case talks about digitizing the health and education systems in the United States, and how this will improve service time and efficiency, reduce costs, and create a system that can be analyzed through the collection of data and information. Case's Third Wave consists of more than just entrepreneurship, however, and he offers advice to coming start-ups on what to look out for within this wave, based upon current industry trends and best practices offered through stories on Cases time at AOL and beyond.

Case believes that entrepreneurs will need to engage with a number of ideals right from the start-up to be successful. The first is Partnerships. Case examines AOL's past history with partnerships, and the struggles internal politics created within his Time-Warner/AOL merger. This eventually led to a declining and failing AOL, as other services took the helm. Case advocates for smart partnerships, where autonomy and innovation are the key to success. Case decries the difficulty many start-ups have in getting funded - both from private and public groups, due to the fear of risk in the market. Case talks up risky investment opportunities that are handled with care, and come from a deep insider's look at the industry in question. He also advocates for the importance of maintaining relationships within one's industry, which can bring unexpected benefits when future investment opportunities arise, and allow start-up firms to sell their products easier by smoothing the road to investment with known entities (ie. well connected individuals in the industry).

The second principle is the most interesting to me: Policy. Case acknowledges the naive conflicts between business and government, which is often more to do with personal conflicts and misunderstanding than anything else. In the Third Wave, the government's of many countries will be struggling to legislate new products and services (think Uber), in order to take advantage of the various positive externalizes new businesses can offer, while maintaining a proper legislative ceiling on potentially dangerous tech and services. This differs from the Wild West feel of the First Wave, where government was much more hands off in the United States. New entrepreneurs have opportunities to work closely with government agencies that will be looking to take advantage of technological innovations, both through R&D, and to innovate. Think about a transportation department which wishes to place chips in roadways to monitor potholes and traffic flow to improve transportation efficiency. The government will play a big role in the Third Wave, according to Case, by being both an investment partner, and a customer.

The third principle is perseverance. Case ties this in with his inglorious end at AOL, and his subsequent work with his investment firm Revolution, and work with the US government in the start-up funding field. Case argues that the Third Wave will look different than the First or Second. Tech companies will move away from areas like Silicon Valley to save on costs (real estate, for example) and create new centres all over the US, and the world. Entrepreneurs need to remain vigilant to trends, and to create new ones if possible. Investors may enjoy this move because it may lower the cost of investment if companies exist outside of pricey and established markets, and also improve Returns due to the decreased overhead (and potentially, the desperation of the start-up for funds). However, the Third Wave, in Case's mind, is off to a good start, and investment firms look to apply new techniques that transcend basic return-only mentality. Investment firms are increasingly taking into account the impact their investment will have on a particular industry, as this may be attractive to investors.

Case's book is most interesting when he examines policy. He looks at the changing landscape of the US's venture capital market and its start-up environment. He criticizes the lagging US R&D field, as nations around the world seek to capitalize on America's weakness in this area by creating favourable investment climates for start-ups. Tied into this is the US's strict immigration laws, which Case says is seeing talent drain away. The United States is a popular destination for foreign students, which the government welcomes as a cash cow, but then these graduates are often hampered from immigrating to the States, and the potential influx of educated individuals will move on to greener fields.

So how did I feel about the book? I enjoyed it well enough. Case offers some interesting information on the changing landscape of internet based entrepreneurship and how the coming Third Wave of new products and services will impact the marketplace. He intersperses anecdotal stories to tie into each various category from his time at AOL, and his failures and successes. This works well in some cases, but he often comes across as defensive in his decisions, and is not very humble in how he treats others, in some cases. The policy analysis lacks depth in many cases, but is interesting enough and was my personal favourite part of the book. The government's of many countries are increasingly looking at private-public partnerships and various investment tools/schemes to try and boost their own start-up environments, and encourage the best and brightest to create new products that are both beneficial to consumers, and useful tools for governments to help run nations more efficiently, and create better living conditions for their citizens. The internet is an undeniable part of our lives now, and in many countries (like Canada, for example) governments are currently debating whether internet access is now an essential part of our lives as human beings and citizens. Love it or fear it, but the coming age of technological integration is fascinating. It is leading to privacy concerns and over analysis on the one hand, but also massive gains in many varied fields, from healthcare to agriculture. It is changing our lives, and this is undeniable.

Case has written a compelling and interesting book that suffers from a few flaws. His AOL anecdotes are interesting in some places, but feel defensive in other. An autobiography would have been more fitting for such topics, and would have offered greater depth. The look at policy in this book is interesting as well, but light. On the other hand, Case offers interesting advice for entrepreneurs and casual readers alike on how to succeed in the internet age. He examines where the marketplace is taking humanity in terms of internet based technologies. He also examines the growing interest governments are taking in legislating this field, and how this will create exciting opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and citizens alike. An interesting read that can easily be recommended for readers looking for a good business book, and for those looking for a brief read on the business/government side of the tech industry.
Profile Image for Jeff.
49 reviews5 followers
October 6, 2016
What an obnoxious piece of self indulgent crap. His observations about the third wave are cursory and cliche and only a small portion of the book. Most of the book focuses on his journey with AOL, which was very focused on the time where they were growing as a large corporation, not so useful to entrepreneurs. Throw this one out like you did those AOL disks
Profile Image for William Aicher.
Author 23 books304 followers
February 7, 2017
Honestly I expected a bit more from this book. The theories and predictions here were very broad, and for anyone who's paying much attention to the space, not very unpredictable. It was pretty interesting to hear the story behind AOL and how everything went to hell (although Case does seem very quick to blame others for the failure). Also, there's quite a bit of an argument in here for working with government to fund innovation and R&D ... and while I understand what he's saying, I think he's expecting too much collaboration between government and private business. A bit of a government apologist, if you will.

Still, a decent read - and worth going through if you want something from a previous tech and business leader. Pretty quick too. I went through it in a day.
Profile Image for Tim.
2,110 reviews193 followers
August 30, 2016
Although Case touched upon The Third Wave, I feel a better title could have been the History of AOL. This was not his intention, but it came across that way. Perhaps this is why he left out numerous dates of events throughout. 4 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Thao Nguyen.
19 reviews2 followers
February 17, 2019
This book provides a confirmation and more clarity to a future that I have been imagining. I was never too enthusiastic about the plethora of short-lived SaaS in the app economy. I’m excited that the next (current) wave of innovations will be about tackling major real-world industries like healthcare, agriculture, education, etc. Solutions to these major industries will not be limited to the online world. A single app won’t be able to solve supply chain problems. Instead, solutions in this next wave will be a combination of software, hardware, and partnerships.
Profile Image for Live Forever or Die Trying.
50 reviews243 followers
May 1, 2020
The best part of this book was a peak behind the veil of the early formation of AOL. Steve's thoughts on entrepreneurship echos most of what you hear in other books, other than the redundancy with prior reads it is all sound however. I would say I wish he had a deeper dive on some of his thoughts, especially those about working with Government and risk management.
Profile Image for Dmitry.
679 reviews66 followers
July 2, 2019
(The English review is placed beneath Russian one)

Местами читается интересно, но в основном – скучно. Интересно когда автор описывает свою историю работы в AOL, т.е. классический жанр «история бизнеса». Но скучно когда автор начинает уходить в прогнозирование будущего, когда начинает рассказывать «как будет» и т.д. И не только из-за того, что прогнозирование, вещь крайне неудачное и бесперспективное (кто вспомнит слова прогнозиста через 10-20, а то и 30 лет?). Но ещё и ��отому, что автор делает прогнозы чрезвычайно общие, размытые и, по сути, ни о чём (конкретно).
Книга представляет собой некую зебру, где собственная биография, а именно, работа в AOL (США), перемежается с прогнозами и текстами, которые можно описать как «в целом». Интерес представляет развитие, становление и падение с пьедестала компании AOL (пусть и краткое). Тут и первые конфликты, и первые столкновения с будущими гигантами отрасли, такими как Apple и Microsoft. Тут и внутренние столкновения с проблемой менеджмента (CEO) или если обозначить более широко – корпоративной культурой. Автор приводит интересные истории того, как например компания AOL чуть не купила (точнее, была идея купить) Apple и как эта самая проблема корпоративной культуры/менеджмента не дало даже шанса сделать это. В целом, история, хоть и очень краткая, была представлена довольно интересно.
Что касается второй части, то тут всё очень теоретизированно. Автор описывает третью волну как состояние технического прогресса, которого западный мир достиг в последние несколько лет. Т.е. это подъём социальных сетей (и то изменение бизнеса, что произошло из-за этого), появление множества удачных start-up, в особенности таких как Uber, Airbnb и пр. Однако конкретики, я не нашёл. Просто, что-то типа: нужно создавать бизнес с учётом тех последних достижений, что существуют в мире. Плюс, в конце книги много внимания уделяется теме мигрантов. Эта проблема описывается как один из главных тормозов развития инноваций в США, т.к. если люди, которые обучаются в США, потом уезжают к себе на родину, не имея возможности остаться, то дивиденды получат как раз те другие страны и не получится ли так, что Силиконовая долина появится в Англии (или где-то ещё), но исчезнет в США? Второй важной проблемой, описываемой автором, является кооперация с правительством.
В принципе, я не понял, для чего была написана книга. Было бы намного лучше, если бы большую часть заняла история AOL и только в конце - небольшой прогноз на будущее. Хотя опять же, стоит ли?

Sometimes it's interesting to read, but mostly it's boring. It is interesting when the author describes his history of work in AOL, i.e. a classic genre "business history". But it's boring when the author starts to go to the forecasting of the future, when he begins to tell "how it will be", etc. And not only because of the fact that the forecasting is extremely unsuccessful and hopeless (who will remember the words of the forecaster in 10-20 or even 30 years?). But also because the author makes forecasts that are extremely general, fuzzy and, in fact, about nothing (specifically).
The book is a kind of zebra, where the biography, namely, the work in AOL (USA), interspersed with forecasts and texts that can be described as "in general". It is interesting to note the development, formation and fall from the AOL pedestal (albeit brief). Here are both the first conflicts and the first clashes with future industry giants, such as Apple and Microsoft. There are also internal clashes with the problem of management (CEO) or, if we put it more broadly, with the corporate culture. The author cites interesting stories about how, for example, AOL almost bought (or rather, the idea to buy) Apple and how this very problem of corporate culture/management did not even give a chance to do so. In general, the story, though very short, was presented quite interestingly.
As for the second part, everything here is very theoretical. The author describes the third wave as a state of technological progress, which the Western world has achieved in the last few years. That is, the rise of social networks (and the change in business that has occurred because of it), the emergence of many successful start-ups, especially such as Uber, Airbnb, etc. However, I have not found any specifics. Just something like that: you have to create a business with the latest achievements in the world in mind. Plus, at the end of the book, a lot of attention is paid to the topic of migrants. This problem is described as one of the main obstacles to innovation in the U.S., because if people who study in the U.S., then leave for their home country, not having the opportunity to stay, then the dividends will get just those other countries and whether it will not work out so that Silicon Valley will appear in England (or elsewhere), but disappear into the U.S.? The second important problem described by the author is cooperation with the government.
In principle, I did not understand why the book was written. It would have been much better if AOL's story had taken up most of the time and only at the end of it was a small forecast for the future. Again, though, is it worth it?
Profile Image for David Pimenta.
326 reviews20 followers
November 28, 2016
“Há cem anos, o foco da maioria dos investidores centrava-se sobretudo no lucro. Mas, com o passar do tempo, e depois de acontecimentos como a Grande Depressão, houve um reconhecimento de que os investidores também precisavam de apostar no risco. Hoje, o elemento do impacto social está também a ser injectado na abordagem do investimento. O investimento de impacto social é uma ponte entre o negócio tradicional e a filantropia – e entre o retorno financeiro e o benefício social.”

O empreendedorismo muda constantemente com a evolução tecnológica: é um facto inegável, alguns diriam mesmo que é evidente. São inúmeros os aparelhos tecnológicos, com ligação à Internet, que circulam nas mãos de milhares de utilizadores em qualquer parte do globo. Em telemóveis, computadores ou consolas de videojogos é essencial existir um meio de ligação à realidade digital, sem se uma dar atenção prioritária às novas funcionalidades implementadas. Com novos lançamentos, as novas tecnologias tornam-se cada vez mais numa extensão do ser humano. “A Terceira Vaga” (Clube do Autor, 2016) de Steve Case, um dos fundadores da AOL, é um relato das suas ideias revolucionárias à época – nos anos 80 eram poucos os americanos que utilizavam a Internet ou acreditavam na sua evolução como uma realidade presente no dia-a-dia da maioria das pessoas –, com ensinamentos para novos empreendedores aplicarem às suas ideias de negócios ou para meros leitores conhecerem a evolução e conselhos úteis sobre o universo digital que se encontra à distância de um clique.

Walter Isaacson, autor do bestseller “Steve Jobs”, começa por recordar a persistência de Case em anunciar a Internet como uma forma de manter as pessoas em comunicação e unidas. Numa altura em que apenas 3% dos americanos estavam online, o autor acreditava no domínio digital como algo que “não iria tratar apenas do conteúdo e comércio” e colocava a sua aposta nas pessoas para tornar a Internet presente no dia-a-dia. Esta convicção, que soa quase como uma ideia distante e vulgar, sem qualquer tipo de inovação, acabou por ser determinante para a construção da realidade digital tal como a conhecemos hoje. A AOL, considerada como uma das empresas impulsionadoras da revolução digital, surge com um olhar atento à inclusividade, num momento em que “a Internet era o espaço de trabalho e o recreio de meia dúzia de viciados em computadores”, e foi neste conceito de comunidade que se formou uma força revolucionária e inspiradora para a criação das redes sociais dominantes em todo o mundo, como o Facebook, o Instagram ou o Twitter.

Para ler toda a crítica aqui: http://bit.ly/2gjCXyy
Profile Image for Budd Margolis.
598 reviews9 followers
May 6, 2016
Remarkably few really useful comments throughout this book. I felt at times that it was as much a biography as a PR exercise. I was never a fan of AOL, I was a Compuserve user and thought the Time Warner merger was a big mistake when I first heard it. Many wealthy people made their fortunes from over-valued dotcom companies and I wish we valued them on facts, not wild fantasy. But Steve did get a few things right, unfortunately in hindsight, that both AOL & Time Warner lacked the sophistication to make such merger work. The two cultures were too far apart and clashed as badly as todays USA Congress. There are better books out there but if you are really interested in AOL and Case, then this will be useful....I suppose.
Profile Image for Anish Malpani.
68 reviews4 followers
March 9, 2019
Simple, quick read written by the ex-CEO of AOL that sets up what it will take to build a successful business in the next few years – partnerships, policy and perseverance. Overnight basement successes will be a thing of the past and the internet will be succeeded by internet of everything, not just internet of things. Foresight.
Profile Image for Tyler Hochstetler.
101 reviews17 followers
August 11, 2016
A story of trials, failures, and ultimately success. Steve case paints a remarkable frame for entrepreneurs who want to impact the world.
41 reviews1 follower
December 24, 2021
Equal parts biography, history of the rise and fall of AOL (and its ill-fated merger with Time Warner), and predictions of the future of entrepreneurship, Steve Case's first book, The Third Wave, is an enjoyable and occasionally insightful read. I would recommend for anyone with interest in entrepreneurship, especially in heavily regulated industries such as education or healthcare (his two examples of industries ripe for disruption). For others, the story of AOL and Case's description of the unraveling of its merger with Time Warner (my favorite part) will make this book worthwhile.

I'll leave it to others to summarize the key tenets of the book, but in short Case believes the next wave of entrepreneurship will resemble in many ways the early days of the Internet, where partnerships and alliances with other companies and influence with regulatory agencies were vital to unlocking the potential of the Internet. Industries like healthcare and education are in desperate need of disruption but the barriers to entry are clearly more difficult than those faced by the leading names of the Second Wave (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat). Simplistically, these were apps created to connect people and solve problems then leveraged viral adoption to create scale and value. Disrupting regulated and disfunctional industries will require more thoughtful strategy, EQ to navigate conflicting views, partnerships with respected institutions (think Coursera and Yale), and working with the government instead of against them (a point Case reiterates at numerous points). Uber could scale across a fragmented regulatory landscape by painting government as the bad guy, but you won't revolutionize healthcare with the same combative approach.

At 200 pages, it's a quick read and worth a skim at minimum. 3.4/5.0.
Profile Image for Cullen Haynes.
262 reviews9 followers
April 25, 2018
Steve Case, serial entrepreneur and legendary co-founder of America OnLine (AOL), in his spiritual successor to The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler, explains how we're entering a new digital frontier; the Third Wave of the internet.

The First Wave, was that of laying foundations in technology; AOL, Apple, Microsoft and other companies connecting consumers to the internet. In the Second Wave, Google and Facebook were built on top, creating untapped social and search experiences.

The Third Wave will be a period in which we see a renaissance in entrepreneurship which will upend industries and revolutionise real world sectors; education, energy, transport, food and healthcare.

Case encapsulates the beauty of entrepreneurship by being reminded of a famous newspaper ad Ernest Shackleton placed before his 1914 attempt to explore Antartica.

"Men [and Women] wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success."
Profile Image for César.
31 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2019
Não é definitivamente um livro para homens de negócios. Foca-se mais no que é este mundo em termos da rapidez da mudança baseada na internet. Gostei da divisão da influência da internet em três vagas, estando nós hoje nas terceira- a internet de todas as coisas. Saímos de uma internet de aplicações reduzidas para uma internet que de facto estará em todas as circunstâncias da nossa vida, desde querermos um táxi (uber) até um alojamento (airbnb).
Profile Image for Hetal Sonpal.
Author 2 books13 followers
May 17, 2022
This was ok. Looks like a metoo attempt by AOL founder to write a long due book. Nothing earth shattering about the 'third wave' of the internet. It's obvious as he is more of a spectator than a participant of the wave .

Profile Image for Alan Braswell.
223 reviews10 followers
February 16, 2019
After watching a video about the demise of the smart phone industry which had dominated headlines for a decade, I along with those who know the industry a lot better than myself, I picked up the audio to Steve Case book; The Third Wave.

Granted I had no idea who Steve Chase is or why I should listen to him.
Steve Chase says right at the start that; The Third Wave, is not a memoir, then proceeds to tell his audience about his life growing up, his being involved in a company then becoming CEO of AOL.
This book is not a memoir nor autobiographical. Because Steve Chase said it wasn't at the very beginning.
There are thrown into remembrance of Steve's memoir, oops sorry not a memoir memoir memoir, various ideas about this third wave. Education and Medical Field being the two top priority.

I have read other reports and feel that Steve Chase fails, in his memoir, (oops) two highly areas that will take over the market and the two areas that Steve Chase mentioned.
The first is AI.
I worked as a security guard watching a large abandoned warehouse for six months. The one thought I had, in that six months, is that in five years a robot will take over my job.
Second one that Steve Chase fail to mention is:
Virtual Reality.
Think of the novel; Ready Player One, in that novel the author had the main character use a system called, OASIS, in schools. A simple wearing of those goggles one is transported into the classroom.
This system can also be used in the medical field. During routine exams or later in surgery.

I would have like the book to have been more of a text book of the different waves of technology rather than listening to someone's memoir.
Profile Image for Andrew.
540 reviews5 followers
July 21, 2017
The book is a quick read for entrepreneurship, the vision is accessible and practical.
Steve Case is a pioneer in the dot com boom. He co-founded AOL and has stayed true to entrepreneurs by continuing to invest in startups.
This is an important book for entrepreneurs to understand corporate mergers and the startup journey.

This is more of a memoir than a "guidebook for budding entrepreneurs" (despite Case's best efforts).
In his vision for the future, Case hopes to see increases in government research & development, hiring talent from other countries and less restrictions for companies raising capital for startups. The principles are fairly well known ideas in the startup community.
Profile Image for Chris.
25 reviews2 followers
June 28, 2016
Really appreciated Case's insights about where ed reform is going and how the convergence of tech and social impact giving are poised to significantly disrupt public education. His emphasis on developing partnerships and the important role that understanding and re-shaping policy will play generally in the third wave is, I think, spot on. The more I think about the book, which is a mix of biography, prognostication, and counsel, the more I like it. I don't read much in this genre, perhaps to my own detriment, so I'll give this a 3.5 rounded to four.
Profile Image for Ravi Warrier.
232 reviews12 followers
February 7, 2017
The book starts out with a promise; after all, it's a book by Case and his story about starting AOL was interesting. However, as you move on, you realize that he's not saying much or new or anything exciting that others haven't already said and in a way that really peps you up for the future.

It seemed like a book that was forced to be written without any real, definitive takeaways for the reader. Sorely disappointed to have been excited and having wasted my 6 hours reading the book.
Profile Image for Theodore Kinni.
Author 12 books31 followers
March 29, 2016
We're entering a 3rd wave of Internet development--not just the Internet of Things, but the Internet of Everything, according to AOL founder Case. Particularly like his ideas about what that means for established companies, as well as cities thruout the country that have been left behind in the digital era.
May 22, 2016
A good read to expand thinking on current world problem solving. I was expecting much more from this book and don't agree on the amount of partnerships you need to make with government to run a successful business. It sounds like Steve Case was sucked into the Clinton era politics living outside of Washington, DC.
Profile Image for Ye Lin Aung.
143 reviews46 followers
June 15, 2016
A good book about the entrepreneur which the author reflects with his past experience.
He also discuss about the inevitable future of the Internet of everything and how it could change people lives.
This book also has more stuffs about his background and days from AOL than I expected.
Nonetheless, a good book.
Oh this is my first audio book!
Profile Image for Steven.
162 reviews25 followers
February 9, 2017
Steve Case is a smart guy, so why oh why did he greenlight the release of this book? The substance can be contained in a small article. I echo the frustration of other users that a first wave pioneer like Case could not put together a coherent book.

I finished it, which means it gets two stars. I hardly ever abandon books I start, but I came awfully close with this one.
1 review
February 4, 2017
This was a great biography essentially of How Steve Case was able to build AOL. He goes into detail about how the next generation of entrepreneurs needs to be focused on building purpose not just great products. This was something that struck me on a personal level. I would recommend this book.
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