Childhood & Early Life
Case was born to Daniel Hebard Case and Carol (Holmes) on 21st August, 1958, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was the third among the four children born to his parents.
When he was six years old, the lad along with his brother started a juice centre together and eventually founded a firm known as ‘Case Enterprises’.
Steve received his primary education from the ‘Punahou School’ and then, in 1980, he completed his graduation from ‘Williams College’, located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with a degree in political science.
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After his graduation, Case got employed with the company ‘Procter & Gamble’ in Cincinnati, Ohio as an assistant brands manager. He worked there for two years, and in 1982, he shifted to ‘Pizza Hut Inc.’ situated in Wichita, Kansas where he was designated as the manager of new pizza marketing.
The following year, he got acquainted to the CEO of the company ‘Control Video Corporation’, Bill von Meister, through his brother Dan. Steve was chosen as a marketing consultant of the new project called ‘GameLine’, an off-shoot of the video game console brand called ‘Atari 2600’.
However, after the company was taken over by investor Frank Caufield, Case was hired as a permanent marketing employee.
Entrepreneur Jim Kimsey established the company ‘Quantum Computer Services’ in 1985 and appointed Case as the vice president of marketing.
In 1987, Kimsey chose the young man as the executive vice president and eventually, Jim became his mentor who trained him in such a way that after the CEO retired from his office, Case was capable enough to be promoted to the position of the new Chairperson and CEO of the company.
He made a few changes in the strategy of 'Quantum' and one such was the 1985 creation of the service named ‘Quantum Link’ or the ‘Q-Link’ for the single model computer named ‘Commodore 64’, along with programmer Marc Seriff.
Three years later, the company developed the ‘AppleLink’ facility, which provided services to ‘Apple’ devices and ‘PC-Link’, which was meant for devices compatible with ‘IBM’.
During the same time, the company also developed many other services and online games such as ‘Habitat’, ‘Club Caribe’, QuantumLink Serial’, ‘Quantum Space’ and ‘Neverwinter Nights’.
In 1991, he became the CEO of the ‘Quantum Computer Services’ and in this capacity, he changed the name of the company to ‘America Online’ (AOL), and incorporated the ‘AppleLink’ and ‘PC-Link’ into the company.
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In the next three years, these services boastedd of approximately one million subscribers. Eventually, he was appointed as the Chairperson of the company.
’AOL’ was the company instrumental in bringing about the idea of social media, as the company concentrated mainly on instantaneous messaging and chatrooms. The company also sought to make their services affordable for the masses.
An ‘AOL’ service, unlike many other services available during that period such as ‘Prodigy’ and ‘CompuServe’, was easily accessible to the common man. This helped the services to become popular among the masses and earned ‘AOL’ millions of users and the number of people utilizing the facility kept on increasing every year.
In 2001, the multinational media company ‘Time Warner’ acquired ‘AOL’ and the merger gave rise to a huge company involved with entertainment, media and communication.
However, the company encountered controversies involving the ‘dot-com’ recession. Following this, Steve resigned from office as a chairman but was one among the board of directors.
In 2005, he established an investment company named ‘Revolution LLC’ along with Donn Davis and Tige Savage. After the failure of the ‘Time Warner’ and ‘AOL’ unification, he parted ways with ‘Time Warner’ and focussed more on his investment company.
He later became a stakeholder in companies like ‘HelloWallet’, ‘Revolution Money’, ‘Zipcar’, ‘AddThis’ and ‘Living Social’. These firms earned so much popularity that eventually, these were acquired by other bigger companies.
While ’Zipcar’ was bought by ‘Avis Budget Group’, ‘Revolutionary Money’ was bought by ‘American Express’ and ‘HelloWallet’ was acquired by the firm ‘MorningStar’.
This entrepreneur collaborated with investors Donn Davis and Ted Leonsis to initiate the $450 million venture named ‘Revolution Growth’ fund, in 2011. The firm invested in companies such as ‘FedBid’, ‘Resonate’, ‘Bigcommerce’, ‘Lolly Wolly Doodle’ and CustomInk’.
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He founded the ‘Revolution Ventures’ fund in 2013 along with investors David Golden and Tige Savage. This firm invested in companies like ‘Busbud’, ‘BenchPrep’, ‘OrderUp’, ‘RunKeeper’ and ‘Homesnap’.