The Third Wave: The Future of Entrepreneurship in America

Course No. 2058
Chairman and CEO, Revolution Steve Case, Cofounder, America Online
Share This Course
3.8 out of 5
7 Reviews
57% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 2058
Streaming Included Free

What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Learn about the First Wave-when the Internet was created, the Second Wave-when companies built programs and apps on top of it, and what we should expect to see during the current Third Wave.
  • numbers Citing real-life examples, discover how and why various business models either failed or succeeded in their efforts to remain relevant.
  • numbers Examine how the Third Wave will open opportunities for entrepreneurs who are experts in their fields.

Course Overview

Analyses of the ubiquity of the Internet’s influence have become trite. More than 30 years and 3 billion daily users later, we need an informed vision of where the Internet is going, what it means, and how every entrepreneur and innovator can ride the wave to greater success. To accomplish this bold task, The Great Courses has teamed with legendary Internet pioneer, technology entrepreneur, and philanthropic ambassador Steve Case to offer you a powerful series on the future of American entrepreneurship.

You’ll learn how First Wave companies like America Online laid the foundation for consumers to access the burgeoning Internet, and how Second Wave companies like Google and Facebook enabled users to search and connect to each other, while apps such as Instagram and others leveraged the smartphone revolution. Finally, Mr. Case will share his profound vision for the Third Wave, in which entrepreneurs will revolutionize major sectors of our daily lives—from food to education and from transportation to health care.

Far from an exercise in crystal ball–gazing, these talks offer authoritative analyses of just how this Third Wave is already building—and how to join it.

Hide Full Description
7 lectures
 |  Average 12 minutes each
  • 1
    What Is the Third Wave of the Internet?
    After introducing the original concept of The Third Wave by futurist Alvin Toffler, which examined the transition of human society from Agrarian to Industrial to the Information Age, Mr. Case explains how he’s adapted Toffler’s idea to describe the three waves of the Internet. He provides insights into the First Wave (1985–1999) when the Internet was created, the Second Wave (2000–2015) when companies built programs and apps on top of it, and what we should expect to see during the current Third Wave, a period that will integrate the Internet into our daily lives more deeply than ever before. x
  • 2
    The Rise of the Rest and Impact Investing
    You’ll discover the many ways the Third Wave will impact entrepreneurs, CEOs, and policymaker. Mr. Case examines how impact investing and social responsibility will play prominent roles in the future, and how capital investment and economic opportunity will be more evenly distributed across the United States to allow for what he calls the “Rise of the Rest.” x
  • 3
    Partnerships, Policy, and Perseverance
    Mr. Case argues that success in the Third Wave will require strategies and ways of thinking to which Second Wave entrepreneurs are unaccustomed. At America Online, Mr. Case discovered the importance of forging partnerships with established or emerging organizations, of changing and even reinventing itself to adapt to disruption by new competitors, and of persevering in the face of unforeseen challenges. Third Wave companies will need to internalize these lessons from the First Wave if they want to survive. x
  • 4
    The Role of Entrepreneurs in the Third Wave
    The overnight startup success stories that were common in the Second Wave will be rare in the Third Wave. Mr. Case demonstrates how the Third Wave will open up opportunities for entrepreneurs who are experts in their fields, introducing a movement to create foundational growth in places outside New York, Boston, and Silicon Valley, and requiring strong relationships with government. x
  • 5
    The Role of CEOs and Corporations in the Third Wave
    In the Third Wave, established CEOs will face challenges like never before as competition and disruption come at them from every angle and at unprecedented speed. Incumbent corporations will need to remain nimble and embrace a start-up mentality to keep up. Citing real-life examples, Mr. Case explains how and why various business models either failed or succeeded in their efforts to remain relevant. x
  • 6
    The Role of Government in the Third Wave
    Mr. Case walks through the stages of business growth and outlines why Third Wave companies will require a certain level of government support. He also points out that government regulation will be necessary to address the potential risks of new technology, particularly those involving privacy and security. Looking at the world market, he shows why America's global leadership is at risk if we don't maintain a vibrant and welcoming entrepreneurial environment. x
  • 7
    Seize the Future: R.E.S.T.A.R.T. America
    Mr. Case presents a new playbook to jumpstart America's entrepreneurial engine and preserve the American dream. He refers to his plan as R.E.S.T.A.R.T. Agenda, and as he walks you through each step of the process, you'll see how communities, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and policymakers can seize the future by preparing for the Third Wave. x

Lecture Titles

Clone Content from Your Professor tab

What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 7 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
Video DVD
Instant Audio Includes:
  • Download 7 audio lectures to your computer or mobile app

Enjoy This Course On-the-Go with Our Mobile Apps!*

  • App store App store iPhone + iPad
  • Google Play Google Play Android Devices
  • Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Tablet + Firephone
*Courses can be streamed from anywhere you have an internet connection. Standard carrier data rates may apply in areas that do not have wifi connections pursuant to your carrier contract.

Your professor

Steve Case

About Your Professor

Steve Case, Cofounder, America Online
Steve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and a pioneer in making the Internet a part of everyday life. He is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future. Mr. Case’s entrepreneurial career began in 1985, when he cofounded America Online (AOL). Under his leadership, AOL became the world’s largest and most valuable...
Learn More About This Professor


The Third Wave: The Future of Entrepreneurship in America is rated 3.7 out of 5 by 7.
Rated 2 out of 5 by from There's no there here This is hands-down the most disappointing "course" I've purchased in my long time as a Great Courses customer. It's not so much a course so much as vague commentary by the author—full of assertions unsupported by any evidence. It's also quite short and doesn't even include a guidebook.
Date published: 2020-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A very well thought out history and future focus I really enjoyed this course and listened it in full 3x. The first hand discussion of barriers Mr. Case and others encountered in developing technology for the internet was a great way of showing how people have to adapt and try new methods and what others call luck is actually the 40,000th try that finally worked. The first wave discussion makes you appreciate how much will need to change to realize the third wave. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2018-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Consider this mini course! I bought the course because of the speaker and found the contents stimulating
Date published: 2018-08-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Platitudes Sorry, probably the most disappointing of the GCs I’ve purchaded over the years. Expensive and yet devoid of any true insights.
Date published: 2018-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great course and valuable information!!! Excellent course!! Key insight and valuable information. I really enjoyed this course.
Date published: 2018-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from These lectures will help people navigate the waves Listening to these lectures reminded me of the book by Toffler which is referenced. The discourse was well organized and delivered with effective examples and references from real world experiences.
Date published: 2018-04-22
  • y_2020, m_9, d_21, h_15
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.12
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_1, tr_6
  • loc_en_US, sid_2058, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.0
  • CLOUD, getContent, 93.86ms

Questions & Answers