The Third Wave

The Third Wave

I found an interesting interview with Steve Case (founder of AOL) on youtube recently. It’s full of a ton of really interesting content, but the main focus is on something Case calls the third wave of the internet.

The first wave was getting everyone connected online. This started in the early 1990s with 3% of citizens in the USA (where the internet first originated) for about 1 hour per week.

The second wave was building software and services on top of the internet like apps, smartphones, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This was from early 2000s until recently.

And now the third wave is upon us. The third wave is integrating the internet into seamless ways into our lives.

Everything will change in the way its done in the third wave. Think of archaic industries like healthcare and education. All of these will be re-engineered to seamlessly integrate the internet and technology into the process.

Case says that to succeed in the third wave, you’ll have to have extensive domain expertise. In other words, know what you’re doing better than others.

And in order to revolutionize healthcare, farming, education, whatever, you must understand how they work and then add software/coding/tech to that.

Another critical component is to simplify the rules of the road. Uber and Airbnb have been working on a civic level to rewrite laws and work to make things easier to do business. This is different than their initial strategy of ask forgiveness and not permission to do business they way they want to.

Now they’re having to rewrite their strategy to be sustainable for long term growth.

This is important to notice because your strategy to launch only takes you so far. Engagement is what takes you to the next level.

Engaging with the local officials, the local customers, the local employees.

Are you seeing the third wave in your industry? How could you anticipate technology being integrated and build that into your business?

(photo via kanaka)