Why I Decided it Was Time to Write a Book
Steve Case
36527

Recalling some history is important here.

Many people reading Medium probably don’t remember what AOL was and who Steve Case is.

AOL was a dial-up service where users connected to the early Internet via a phone line and a phone Modem. At the time AOL was famous for a massive US Mail campaign where they mailed out vast numbers of AOL CDs that users could run on their CD drive to set up an AOL account. So many of these CDs were in circulation that people started building things out of them, like satellite dishes.

AOL lagged far behind evolving technology. They remained a modem dial-up service when DSL internet connections started to become common. They remained a closed portal, without broad internet access until they were finally forced to open up access.

AOL’s finances were often described as a “house of cards”. They ran big deficits, with a declining market. AOL was saved by the dot-com bubble. Their stock was pumped up by wild speculation. On the basis of the bubble valuation of AOL stock, AOL, a company without any future or assets, was able to buy Time-Warner, a real company with real assets.

Through this slight of hand, Steve Case turned his bubble asset into real money and was able to cash out and become fantastically wealthy.

When the dot-com bubble burst, the AOL part of AOL-Time Warner was written down to a fraction of its bubble valuation. The greatly shrunken assets of AOL were sold off to Verizon, which has managed to build up the company to some degree (AOL owns the Huntington Post and some other media assets). AOL-Time Warner went back to being Time Warner.

Some Medium readers worship anyone who manages to become rich, regardless of how the wealth was achieved. If you’re one of these people, buy this book. For anyone else, it might be worth considering the history of the author before you invest your time and money.

Like what you read? Give nderground a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.