The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future by Steve Case — Book Review

Reading books about what’s coming next is an useful insight to see the variety of options you have while preparing your strategy. The Third Wave is one of those books.
Steve Case shows us that we are going into the next industrial revolution, where the requisites to leader the market will be completely different as they are right now.
It’s a must read for entrepreneurs.


The Third Wave is the era when the Internet stops belonging to Internet companies. It is the era in which products will require the Internet, even if the Internet doesn’t define them. It is the era when the concept of the Internet of Things will be viewed as too limiting, because we’ll realize that what’s emerging is the much broader Internet of Everything.

Third Wave entrepreneurs will need to build partnerships across sectors in a way that Second Wave companies never had to. They will need to navigate a policy landscape that most Second Wave companies could ignore.

We are entering a new phase of technological evolution, a phase where the Internet will be fully integrated into every part of our lives—how we learn, how we heal, how we manage our finances, how we get around, how we work, even what we eat.

The key will be replacing a culture of standardization with a culture of personalization.

People are often more worried about the risk of trying something new than about the risk of maintaining the status quo. And too often, the latter wins out. The Third Wave won’t solve this problem altogether, but it can help. It can answer questions we’ve never had answers for, explain patterns we never would have seen on our own, and solve problems we didn’t even know we had.

Third Wave companies won’t have the option of going it alone. The success of a company will depend largely on the partnerships its leadership can forge—sometimes even with the very organizations they are trying to disrupt.

Objects in the mirror are closer—far closer—than they appear. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is overlooking the impact of nascent technology. Too often corporate executives are too shortsighted to understand how technology that is disrupting a different industry might be adapted to do the same to their own.

Some of the best ideas in the world are being hatched in cities that too few venture capitalists pay attention to.

It doesn’t really matter what the plan is if you can’t get your people aligned around achieving the same objectives. As Jim Collins once wrote, “you not only need the right people on the bus, but you also need the right people in the right seats.”

Government’s role in the Third Wave will be critical in two key ways: as a regulator and as a customer.