Steve Case

Revolution Chairman & CEO

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How Do You Come up With Your Best Ideas?

I think entrepreneurs are really good at pattern recognition, so you just sort of connect the dots to get a sense of maybe some trend that's emerging or you're starting to hear more and more…

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What Was the Worst Advice Someone Gave You?

When I co-founded AOL, I was 25, 26 and I heard from a number of people, including some investors that very few entrepreneurs can move from that startup stage to the later stage. Generally when…

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What Is the Secret to a Great Co-Founders’ Relationship?

I think they have to be aligned on the vision, obviously, make sure that they see where they're going and there's a unity in terms of that. But also bring a different perspective, you know,…

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How Do You Compete With Rivals?

I tend to take 'em pretty seriously. I focus on what we're trying to accomplish, but also definitely pay attention to what's happening around the periphery and try and understand what competitors are doing and…

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What’s the Most Important Skill You Use That School Did Not Teach You?

I think probably around people and partnership. Those were some of the key things to focus on, the importance of team. I think people at one level understand that teams matter, people matter, but I…

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What’s Your Power Outfit?

This is my go-to outfit. So, it's like my blue shirt, and my you know, in this case, black jeans, and if I was trying to be powerful, I guess it needs to be a…

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What Are You Bad At?

I'm much better on the vision side of things than the execution side of things. I'm not good at managing a lot of day-to-day details. I'm more focused on the broader themes, trying to set…

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What Role Does Data Play in Your Decision-Making Process?

I think the data basically gives you some evidence that the mice are eating the cheese, you know, in terms of when you hear a startup idea, you have to be captivated by the idea,…

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What Is Your Biggest Time-Saving Trick?

Delegate, a thing I learned, you got to have a great team, you got to trust your team, and you got to empower your team. And so, rather than trying to do things inside, you…

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What Is the Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

If you want to go quickly, you can go alone, but if you want to go far, you must go together. It really is about people and teams and delegation. You only can do so…

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How Do You Give Critical Feedback?

Pretty directly, just try to understand kind of what we're supposed to be accomplishing as a team and what their specific role there is, and then make sure that they're tracking against that, and solicit…

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What’s Your Biggest Career Mistake?

My biggest career mistake relates to people, not really getting the culture right. Certainly when we merged AOL and Time Warner, it was, I thought, a great idea. The vision of it, I think, was…

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Are Entrepreneurs Born or Can They Be Made?

Early on, I kind of knew I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial, but I've also met a lot of people who kind of came to entrepreneurship later in life. Ray Kroc, the founder of…

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How Much of Your Career Has Been Planned and How Much Has It Been Left up to Chance?

My first job was Proctor & Gamble when I was 21. Worked there for two years, learned a lot, loved being in Cincinnati, but wanted to do something different so I moved to PepsiCo, Pizza…

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What Do You Do When an Employee Makes a Serious Mistake?

If they're doing them repeatedly, I would ask them to leave. Hopefully everybody's learning from mistakes and doing things a little bit different and a little bit better next time and constantly trying to evolve.

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What’s the Most Effective Way to Pitch Your Idea?

When I'm hearing a pitch I'm partly trying to understand what the idea is, what they're trying to accomplish. Partly understanding about the team, why they have the right mix of skills to accomplish it…

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"Entrepreneurial career began in 1985 when he co-founded AOL"

Steve Case is Chairman and CEO of Revolution, and one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future.

In his role at Revolution, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, Steve partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant ‘built to last’ new businesses. The mission is to establish Revolution as the premier firm outside of Silicon Valley.

Steve’s entrepreneurial career began in 1985 when he co-founded America Online (AOL). Under Steve’s leadership, AOL became the world’s largest and most valuable internet company, driving the worldwide adoption of a medium that has transformed business and society. AOL was the first internet company to go public and among the best performing stocks of the 1990s, delivering a 11,616% return to shareholders. At its peak, nearly half of internet users in the United States used AOL. In 2000, Steve negotiated the largest merger in business history, bringing together AOL and Time Warner in a transaction that gave AOL shareholders a majority stake in the combined company. To facilitate the merger, Steve agreed to step down as CEO when the merger closed.

Steve’s passion for helping entrepreneurs remains his driving force. Steve was the founding co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, where he chaired the subcommittee on entrepreneurship. In 2014, Steve was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.

Steve has been a leading voice in shaping government policy on issues related to entrepreneurship, working across the aisle to advance public policies that expand access to capital and talent. He was instrumental in passing the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, and is active in advocating on behalf of immigration reform.

Steve is also Chairman of the Case Foundation, which he established with his wife Jean in 1997. Together the Cases have invested in hundreds of organizations, initiatives and partnerships with a focus on leveraging the Internet and entrepreneurial approaches to strengthen the social sector. In 2010, Steve and Jean joined The Giving Pledge and publicly reaffirmed their commitment to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

Steve was born and raised in Hawaii and retains active ties to his home state, but has lived in the Washington D.C. area for more than 25 years.