I recently finished The Third Wave by Steve Case. If you don’t know who Case is, he was the CEO of AOL from 1991 until when he retired as chairman of AOL Time Warner in 2003. For many, AOL was the internet in the ’90s. I remember dialing up using AOL as my gateway to the internet and using its many services throughout junior and high school. I’m sure many of you know someone still using an aol.com email as their primary email. AOL is an icon and an internet pioneer. If it wasn’t for them, the internet today would look different.
So, when I found out Case had written a book on his “vision of the future,” I had to pick it up. The Third Wave is what Case sees as the next phase of the Internet. He classifies the three waves of the Internet as:
Case describes the first wave as the building of the infrastructure and pathways to get on the internet. It happened in the ’80s and ’90s when PCs were invading the household. The second wave was the organization of information through websites and social media combined with the growing ability to easily access it all thanks to the world wide web and proliferation of smartphones. As Case sees it, The Third Wave will be when the internet becomes ubiquitous. What will this look like? According to Case, “the internet will be integrated into every phase of our lives.”
Case sees technologies like the “Internet of Things,” or IOT, as being a driver for what’s going to come. He highlights healthcare, education, energy, and food as industries ripe for disruption.
My five key take ways from the book are:
Here are just a few short quotes from the book I liked:
The book is an easy read and not a ‘futurists’ take on technologies of tomorrow, but rather more of an exploration of a phenomenon that’s already beginning to take shape around us today (with great power to impact our lives). I recommend this book for entrepreneurs, business leaders and anyone looking within their own industries on how to innovate and create new opportunities.
Case goes around the country uncovering new opportunities for investing through his “Rise of the Rest” road trip. The tour will go through Florida, landing in Miami between April 29th and May 3rd. You can learn more at revolution.com.