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.”