This week, we talk to Steve Case, co-founder of America Online (AOL), founder of Investment Firm Revolution, chair of the Smithsonian and author of The rise of rest: How entrepreneurs in surprising places are creating the new American dream.
We discussed how he launched America Online in 1985 when the Internet was confined to academia and government. It took a full decade of hard and slow work before family members were willing to go online. AOL was the first Internet company to IPO, and its merger with Time Warner was (at the time) the largest merger in business history.
After the merger, he established a family office to manage his AOL-Time Warner assets. It eventually became “Revolution” which invests in companies at all stages: the rest of the seed funding boom, Revolution Ventures and Revolution Growth. He describes The rise of the rest “Going beyond Silicon Valley and coastal dollars to find early-stage startups and invest in these companies.” Uniquely, ROTR has set up a truly unique initiative using bus tours to visit dozens of cities in America’s heartland to run pitch competitions. Case personally visited 43 cities and funded more than 175 companies in eighty locations.
He was founding vice chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness; He was instrumental in passing the Jobs Act and the Investment Opportunity Act.
His wife Jean runs the Case Foundation, and the two signed the Giving Pledge. Their philanthropy focuses on inclusive entrepreneurship, impact investing, and civic engagement.
Here is a list of his favorite books; A transcript of our conversation is available here this week.
You can stream and download our entire conversation with podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All our previous podcasts on your favorite podcast host can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with David McRaney, science journalist, blogger, podcaster and author. He created the You’re Not So Smart podcast based on his best-selling book of the same name. His new book “How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Beliefs, Opinions, and Persuasion“
Book written by Steve Case
The rise of rest: How entrepreneurs in surprising places are creating the new American dream By Steve Case
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future By Steve Case
Current reading by Steve Case
How to Invest: Master the Craft By David M. Rubenstein
A gentleman from Moscow By Amor Towles