Steve Case was the co-founder and CEO of AOL, the largest Internet company at the time, which he took public and eventually merged with Time Warner. Today he is the CEO of Revolution, an investment firm which invests in visionary entrepreneurs focused on building long lasting businesses.  He is also the Chairman of the Case Foundation and an author with a New York Times bestselling book called The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • There were much more heavily capitalized competitors but Steve decided that while the other online services were focusing on content and commerce, he would focus AOL more on community which ended up being the killer app that drove its success.
  • While you’re scaling, vision and strategy are important but the people are the most important thing to get right. You need to get the right people on the bus and in the right seats and going in the right direction.
  • AOL was by no means an overnight success. It took almost a decade to get to the first million subscribers.
  • The $350 billion mega merger of AOL and Time Warner is the biggest merger in history.
  • During the third wave of the Internet, the 3 “P’s” are going to be most critical for success: partnerships, policy and perseverance. The product-led founder archetype who found success with viral apps during the second wave won’t be adequate in the third wave.
  • “Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison
  • “Excellence is striving to do something important and doing it successfully and doing it well.”

Seth is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker.  He has written 19 best-selling books, publishes one of the most popular marketing blogs, and speaks to audiences around the world. He also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne which was acquired by Yahoo.  Seth has been inducted into both the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and the Marketing Hall of Fame. His latest book is called This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • In the old days, money bought you attention and you could use that attention to grow your business. Today attention is too precious for you to buy at any cost.
  • Being an effective marketer in this day and age means having the empathy to see what the other person dreams of and what they fear.
  • Since 1997 not one significant brand has been built with consumer advertising.
  • There’s no longer any advantage to being a mass marketer. There’s only an advantage to being a very specific marketer.
  • If you build a network effect, if you understand people’s status roles, if you engage with people where they need to be, with a product or service that helps them get to where they want to go, that is marketing.
  • Marketing is about how human beings are going to interact with what you make and whether or not they will talk about it and miss you if you’re gone.
  • The mistake most marketers make is to sell average stuff for average people in an attempt to appease everyone. But what’s most important for brand building today is to find a “minimal viable market”. The idea is to pick the smallest possible group of people that can sustain you and delight them so they will then tell their friends and spread the word.
  • A brand is not a logo. Rather, a brand is a promise, an expectation of what you’re going to get.
  • People don’t generally know what they want. It’s our job to watch people, figure out what they dream of, and then create a transaction that can deliver that feeling.

 


Links

Book: THIS IS MARKETING: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See  This is Marketing

Seth Godin blog: Seth Godin blog

Seth Godin website: Seth Godin website