3 Questions AOL Co-Founder Steve Case Asks To Keep Ideas Moving Forward

Today, we’re so connected that we often take the internet for granted. But that wasn’t the case a few decades ago before there was widespread access. Steve Case helped change that by creating America Online.

Steve is co-founder of America Online, current chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, and author of the new book, The Rise of the Rest: How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream. His companies have changed the world and made the internet and entrepreneurship accessible to people across the globe.

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But with big ideas come big challenges and criticism. Especially when creating AOL, Steve faced roadblocks and naysayers. But he knew the potential of the internet and the impact that would come from what he was creating. Then and now, he constantly checks in and reassesses his ideas to ensure he is on the right track.

That check-in covers three key questions:

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Growth requires agility and evolution, and continually asking yourself these three questions keeps your ideas on track and helps you push through hard days and challenges.

Steve believes that passion is critical to success. Understanding the mission behind his work, from expanding the availability of the internet to backing more entrepreneurs in more places, gives him the ability to work hard and be resilient in the face of criticism and challenges. You have to know your idea is a mountain worth climbing. It’s not just a business, it’s a movement, and as a leader or an entrepreneur, you are the evangelist for it.

Companies aren’t just about the companies. Steve says they’re about their impact on people’s lives, both in the products and services they offer and the ripple effect they have on communities. Today, Steve and his wife see those impacts firsthand as they travel the country in an RV and work to expand the mission and outreach of Rise of the Rest. Steve says that all leaders and entrepreneurs need to spend time with people, listening to their stories and learning about their lives.

Being a successful leader or entrepreneur requires passion. But it also takes continual evaluation and willingness to change and adjust to stay on the right path. Finding a fight worth fighting and an idea worth supporting can have an incredible impact.

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Jacob Morgan

4x Best-Selling Author, Speaker, & Futurist. Founder of FutureOfWorkUniversity.com. Exploring Leadership, Employee Experience, & The Future of Work