Ep. 164 – Steve Case: The Third Wave is coming…

I would’ve taken the money. A couple hundred million.

He could’ve sold the business for a 100, 200 million dollars.

Bill Gates wanted to buy it.

But he didn’t sell.

I wanted to know why Steve Case, co-founder and former CEO of AOL said no to being a millionaire.

“The simple answer is I really believed in the idea of the internet and believed in AOL and believed that it could change the world,” he says on today’s podcast.

Investors said, “What are you talking about? This internet thing? Why would normal people ever want to get connected to this?”

People thought he was crazy. But he could see the future.

That’s the thing about the future. Nobody wants to see it coming.

Back then, nobody wanted to connect to the internet.

They missed opportunities.

“It was a hard struggle for a decade before we finally broke through,” he said.

The future paid off for Steve Case. And now it can pay off for you.

He believed they could change the world.

He was right. “Six, seven years later, [AOL] had gone from a few hundred million dollars to tens of billions to then over 150, 160 billion.”

But he didn’t stop there…

The Third Wave is coming. Steve talks about it in his New York Times bestselling book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future.

These are the opportunities you haven’t missed yet.

We’re offering you the future.

In my interview with Steve Case, you’ll learn about the first wave (building the internet), the second wave (social media, community, Facebook, Snapchat… all the billion dollar companies you wish you thought of or invested in…)

And finally, the third wave. The future.

Listen now to learn how to master your future. Before it’s too late.

Here’s what I learned from Steve Case:

A) Collaborate with the “other”

The best way to build your network is to have sex.

You have to attract people from outside your network and have a lot of idea sex.

Entrepreneurs are going to have sex with big corporations.

Not how they did it before… not how they did it in the second wave where Instagram destroyed Kodak and Airbnb screwed the hotel industry.

This time they’re going to partner. “The smart large companies will recognize that if they don’t lean in the future, if they don’t take some changes, they’re going to lose their way,” Steve says.

Big corporations will fail on their own. They need the help of entrepreneurs. They need innovative thinkers. People with ideas. That’s why the most valuable currency of the future is ideas.

And entrepreneurs will advance with the resources of big corporations.

They’ll have sex.

“You can’t go alone. You need to partner,” Steve says.

B) The internet is changing…

This next phase of the internet, isn’t just connecting people. It’s connecting everything.

“It’s not going to just be in a few places like we saw in the first wave and the second wave,” Steve says. “It’s going to impact every aspect of our lives.”

Education, healthcare, agriculture, retail. Everything is changing. Which means opportunities for innovation are everywhere.

It’s “the internet of things.” And there’s a tipping point.

You won’t be too late, if you catch it now.

“Innovative things have been happening around the edges, but most aspects of our lives haven’t changed that much in the first wave or the second wave,” Steve says, “But they are going to change in this third wave and the entrepreneurs are going to lead the way, as they always do.”

C) Entrepreneurship is changing…

In the past you could be dumb.

Well, not dumb. But you didn’t have to know anything.

You didn’t have to know anything about photography to invent Instagram. You didn’t have to know anything about hotels to create AirBnB.

And you could become a billionaire. But that was the second wave.

“In the third wave, ignorance is not going to be as successful as a strategy or naivety is not going to be as successful as strategy,” Steve says.

“Part of it is figuring out what part of this you’re most passionate about, you’re most interested in and then diving into it.”

Teachers have the opportunity to transform education. Doctors and nurses will influence the direction of healthcare. And so on.

In the third wave, today’s experts will join forces with tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

Who will you be?

Resources and Links:

  • as always….good brain food!!

  • RickRead

    Excellent James, as usual. Thank you!

  • Brave New World just got braver

  • Mark Pritchard

    AOL? One of the most consumer-hated companies of the 90s (infamous for ignoring all requests to close accounts)?

    Steve Case and AOL ignored the advent of broadband until it smacked them in the face. No thanks, I’ll follow other “thought leaders”.

  • hopkinspat

    Good listen. What was the curriculum marketplace for teachers mentioned? Thanks.

  • Lil Peck

    Facebook reminds me of the AOL of the 90s, except it is not also an ISP.

  • Karl Bergerson

    Pritchard’s comments are valid. Case may be able to view the future well, but like most of us, he certainly is not perfect. Is he worth paying attention to – probably yes.

  • george smithson

    @Altucher: did you really feel the need to ‘sex’ it up by adding ‘sex’ into the article? You didn’t need to…

    • TestifyTruth

      Your reaction to a word is questionable, not the word itself.

      • george smithson

        LOL you’re amusing. Now go away, simpleton…