The Case 4 Steve Case


“You’ve got mail. “  That was Steve Case’s pick-up line; his one-liner drawing millions to the mainstream of e-mail when the World Wide Web was just a wee wonder.

He got rich —on floppy-disks;  later  upgrading  to CD-ROM[S]—a generous Direct Mail distribution strategy ; verging on the ‘excessive’ which put the company he co-founded — America Online — front-of-mind even amongst  the most backward of desktop-users and techno-phobic Internet aspirants.

But time can be a teacher; even a sage.  And he is.

Ingenuity 2011; a two-day event  organized and sponsored by the New York Venture Capital Association and NYSE Euronext @ October’s commencement provided more than a glimpse of Steve Case.  Featured @ Thursday’s, October 6 Lunch & Keynote- Hosted by Silicon Valley Bank, Mr. Case submitted to a series of inquiries curated and directed by Habib Kairouz [Rho Capital Partners].

Initially, I readied myself @ my front-row seat.  Skeptical, a man of Kairouz’s venture capital prominence and preparation could sufficiently deliver the flavored nuances of such an ‘interrogation’ I anticipated the same-old-same-old:  Having to ask the questions which were not asked.

“Vulture Capitalist”  he may be;  but fair is fair:  Kairouz leaned into Case’s sails hoisting multiply germane queries drawing from his own mind; pronounced confidence; and experience sparing the audience and press any one-up-man-ship or whiff of arrogance.

“What do you look for in an entrepreneur?” Kairouz began.  “Confidence, passion, humility, belief in the future, the next “Big Idea,” Case explained. 

Steve Case isn’t all talk.  He leads by example; he is a principled man of action.  One need not Google for long [or attend such privileged events such as Ingenuity 2011]:

Case serves on President Obama’s Start-Up America which was launched in January of this year meant to encourage and assist the “next generation of entrepreneurs” and establish “regional eco-systems.”  The initiative says Case is “meant to provide a road-map around entrepreneurship.”

Presently, “there is a Global battle for talent.”  “Let’s make it easier to raise money,” says Case.  Smarter government is the necessary rubric to move America forward.

In Case’s world; Capitalism needs a make-over; errr — do-over.   And with Revolution   he seeks to proceed accordingly. 

Most committed is he to enterprise East of the Missisippi —ZipCar being one recent example.  “Asset-sharing use and experience” he wagers,  is the ‘new’ future.  Similarly, ‘local’ or “social commerce” will [and should] drive branding and “customer trials.”

 Ever heard of LivingSocial?  Steve Case is pumped about it.  His name, money and reputation are behind it.  So live.  And most importantly; be Social.

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