Summary of The Third Wave

An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future

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The Third Wave book summary
Catch the Internet’s latest and greatest “wave” with this compelling entrepreneurial call to action.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Entrepreneur and America Online (AOL) founder Steve Case urges corporate America to embrace the Internet’s “Third Wave.” Using terms drawn from futurist Alvin Toffler, Case explains the current wave as the successor to the “First Wave” of infrastructure development and the work of pioneering companies like AOL. He says the “Second Wave” saw timely leveraging by early movers such as Google and Amazon. Case interweaves his story of business success with the saga of AOL, a faltering tech start-up that became a corporate giant. Case details the machinations of AOL’s merger with Time Warner and the rifts and errors that led to its decline. And, yes, it’s still really interesting. getAbstract recommends Case’s call to act on the opportunities of the disruptive, decentralized, tech-enabled Third Wave to entrepreneurs, policy makers and corporate executives.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Steve Case took AOL from a small start-up to its multibillion-dollar merger with Time Warner,
  • What the Third Wave of the Internet portends and
  • How entrepreneurs can thrive in this disruptive technological era.


America Online (AOL)
Influenced by futurist Alvin Toffler’s book The Third Wave, Steve Case decided to become a tech entrepreneur. Confident in Toffler’s vision of “an electronic global village,” Case worked his way up through various start-ups (and also spent a year as “Director...
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About the Author

Co-founder of AOL, Steve Case guided its merger with Time Warner in 2001. He now serves as CEO and chairman of the venture capital firm Revolution LLC and chairs the Case Foundation, where his wife Jean Case is CEO.

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