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25. Steve Case: Persevere in "The Third Wave" – how entrepreneurs will transform entrenched industries

By David Kadavy – best-selling author

Steve Case is the former CEO of AOL – America Online. Many of you probably chuckle when you see someone with an email address that ends in AOL.com, but for me and many millions of others, AOL was our first contact with the Internet. Steve has a new book out called The Third Wave. The premise is that the first wave of the internet was building the infrastructure – things like getting computers with modems into people's homes, and getting them on the internet, the second wave was software-focused – things like Facebook, and now that we have all of that built out, it's time to change more entrenched industries like Healthcare, Food, and Government. Steve stresses that perseverance is going to be critical in the Third Wave, which is something for all of you Lean Startup practitioners to consider: you can't necessarily abandon your idea because you don't get traction right away. You'll also have to form partnerships – sometimes with big, entrenched organizations that are slow-moving. So, opportunities to create something world-changing by just writing a few lines of code are becoming scarce. I really enjoyed the book – especially the parts about the early days of AOL. AOL had a huge impact in the 90's, and I remember flipping through channels and seeing Steve on CNN giving some kind of Senate testimony. I don't remember what exactly he said, I just remember thinking it was really next-level stuff to my 17-year-old brain. It was the first time I had any awareness of how entrepreneurs and technology shape culture and shape humanity. I hadn't realized before reading the book that it took AOL about a decade to really get traction, so it was interesting to hear those stories of the perseverance that is going to be so critical in the Third Wave. I think Steve's theories about the Third Wave make a ton of sense. Thanks to having infrastructure, we had a good decade or so where our world was reinvented by software, but now there are big challenges in changing slower-moving industries. Even if you're a solopreneur like me, even if you're an employee for life, and you don't have interest in disrupting entrenched industries, it's important to think about these larger trends and how they effect the world around you, and your relevance. Sponsor: http://kadavy.net/treehouse Show notes: http://kadavy.net/blog/posts/steve-case-podcast-interview/  

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