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Steve Case on Jobs's Legacy

In an interview with Inc.com's Christine Lagorio, Steve Case chokes up about Steve Jobs.
Steve Case Video Still

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Steve Case is described as "a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life" on the website of his investment company, Revolution. Who else qualifies for that characterization more than Case's longtime friend and fellow entrepreneur, Steve Jobs? 

In this TrendWatch episode, Inc.com's Christine Lagorio sits down with Steve Case, who co-founded AOL in 1985, to reminisce about Jobs--and his example.

Case revisits 1996, when Jobs returned to Apple and "most people had given up on" the company. He talks about a couple years later, when Jobs called begging for AOL to work more with Apple, as well as a deal for Apple to license AOL's instant-messaging software. 

Watch the video to hear Case himself talk about—despite Jobs's tremendous successes—what his failures can teach entrepreneurs today, as well as the last time he ever saw Jobs. 

In this week's TrendWatch Facts & Figures, times Case and Jobs crossed paths.

  • In the late 90s, AOL licensed its instant-messenger software to Apple. Apple then built its successful iChat platform. 
  • In April 2002, Paul Vidich, then a vice president at Warner Music Group, received a call from Barry Schuler, who was president of AOL's Interactive Services Group. Schuler had Steve Jobs on the phone. Warner Music executives met with Jobs and eventually became the first major studio to offer music on iTunes. The meeting thought was tense, and at one point, Jobs lashed out at the Warner Music team, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't want to talk about what you guys are doing," he said. "You guys have always had your heads up your ass."
  • Later in 2002, Steve Case floated an idea to his board of directors. What if we brought Steve Jobs on board? The merger between AOL and Time Warner had already soured. The board demurred. Jobs stayed put. Case left soon after.  
Last updated: Oct 8, 2011

CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN | Staff Writer | Senior Writer

Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is a senior writer at Inc.




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