This work offers a summary of the book “AOL.COM: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web” by Kara Swisher.
This summary starts with the story of Bill Von Meister, a telecommunications entrepreneur. In his early days von Meister's career looked somewhat like an exercise in trial and error. He spotted opportunities to develop useful telecoms business models but had a series of failures before finally joining up with right man, Steve Case, and landing on the right path.
The company we now call AOL was built on the shaky foundations of a declining gaming industry. In its early days it worked fiercely against all odds, faced with harsh competition from Microsoft, and frequent technical slip ups which put them out of favor. But there was one thing they did exceedingly well, thanks to the guidance of their marketing executive Steve Case. AOL focused on communications, community and clarity – three areas which would enhance their users' online environments and their interaction with each other. They also launched an extensive marketing program in 1993 which received a phenomenal response and sent their stock price soaring. The summary concludes with a useful list of the factors that led to AOL's success, as well as giving some insight into the challenges which face it in the current market.