Steve Case’s Third Wave, Companies Are (Good) People, and Fossil Fuels Fade Away


Steve Case’s Third Wave (via Eric Ries)
When you read a Q&A, chances are you’re a lot more interested in the A than the Q. So this interview with AOL founder Steve Case regarding his new book The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future, conducted by lean startup stalwart Eric Ries, is rare for both what it offers (intelligence and agility on both sides) and what it eschews (there’s no silly “Internet 3.0” stuff in here). Prodded by Ries, Case rattles off insight after insight: policy will be more important, disruption will increase the need to partner with incumbents, a heyday of regional entrepreneurship is coming. All very NewCo themes; now we’ll read Case’s book in full and report back here once we do.

Companies Can Be Good People
Writing in The New Yorker, James Surowiecki surveys the robust and negative corporate response to discriminatory legislation in North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, and other states. But he touches only briefly on the real cause of that response: In an era of work-life integration, big companies can no longer ignore the values of their employees and customers when faced with bias. The era of corporations acting like people — people with a point of view about social justice — is now upon us.

A Speedy Goodbye to Fossil Fuels
Those fossil fuels ruining the planet? They could be gone in a decade, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Research & Social Science. Everything from government action to technological advance has to fall into place perfectly for this best-case scenario laid out by Benjamin Sovacool, Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, to happen. But it’s worth remembering that energy shifts happen faster as history progresses. In 1970, 4% of France’s electrical supply was generated by nuclear; by 1982, it was up to 40 percent.

Google and the Right to Be Misbegotten
The NYT headline says it all: “Europe Tried To Rein in Google. It Backfired.” The EU’s landmark “right to be forgotten” law, intended to put a check on the search giant, has left Google, which controls more than 90 percent of European search, in charge of reviewing and approving more privacy cases than any national authority (nearly 600 a day). And so far, the company has refused to explain how it makes decisions, an unusual stance for a company that tends to value openness and transparency. As Oxford professor Luciano Floridi, who’s advised Google, puts it, “It’s a half-baked solution. If Europe really wanted to regain control over personal data, giving Google this type of power is an odd outcome.” (Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the EU is going after Google for deals with Android phone makers.)

Remembering Bill Campbell
Legendary Silicon Valley mentor Bill Campbell, who helped guide Apple and Google, among many others, died yesterday. He was 75. As Kara Swisher noted in re/code, “Campbell was just a really decent man, with little ego and a well of generosity in an industry much in need of it.”

Photo: Case Foundation

Want to follow the biggest story in business? Get our NewCo Daily and Weekly newsletters.

Leave a Reply