Steve Case: 25 Years Is Great, But What’s Next for the Web?


When we started AOL in 1985, to learn about “the Internet” you needed to read science fiction or the predictions of futurists. I remember reading Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave — describing the evolution from the agriculture age to the industrial revolution and predicting the emergence of a third “electronic” revolution — like it was yesterday. At the time we launched, only 3% of U.S. households were online, and those early adopters averaged just one hour of weekly use

Communication modems were viewed as "peripheral" devices — a non-core, optional, niche add-on for a small subset of hobbyists. Connectivity was expensive, as most users were charged for every minute of network usage. And the Internet was limited to non-commercial uses (mostly educational institutions and the government). In fact, back then it was illegal for companies or the general public to be connected to the Internet. Read more...

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