The Weird Redemption of SF’s Most Reviled Tech Bro
Lauren Smiley

This is the perfect example of what Steve Case describes in his new Book “The Third Wave” of someone trying to use Second Wave techniques (web services companies such as Google, social media like Facebook and Twitter and Mobile Tech -Apple) to solve Third Wave problems.

This third wave is the stage where all companies are internet-powered tech companies, and any newcomers will have to challenge the biggest incumbent industries in the world (Uber vs. taxis, Airbnb’s run on hotels). Therefore, instead of working in a Wild West atmosphere where upstarts can strike upon meteoric success, new companies will have to join forces with third parties, like established firms and especially government regulators.

Steven Levy:

You also say that a big part of the Third Wave is dealing with gatekeepers. That’s disheartening. The original excitement of the Net was about bypassing gatekeepers.

Well actually, to some degree, all three things I’m describing — partnerships, policy, and perseverance — are disheartening. It’s like, “Oh bummer.” Partnerships are harder because you have to figure out a way to align interests. Policy is harder: most entrepreneurs don’t want to spend time with government regulators. And perseverance is harder. Having a ten-year slog like we did with AOL before you finally broke through is not nearly as interesting as having an overnight success. So I understand that people are reading my book and saying. “Oh, I kind of like the second wave. I want more of that.” Some entrepreneurs and investors will do that. But those opportunities will diminish.

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