AOL Stock History
Fouunder: Steven M. Case
AOL Stock History
Those who cannot accept the future as envisioned in Steve’s case have never been shy about rejecting the man and his ideas. Such behavior dates back to at least 1980 when the recent college graduate boldly proclaimed that cable television would be the one-stop information medium of the future. He was roundly rejected by every firm in the business to which he sent a resume, including the new HBO channel created by a rising Time Inc. executive named Geralf Levin. Case, in fact, could not get his foot in the door until he refined his thoughts on technology and consumers during stints outside the industry at Procter & Gamble and Pizza Hut.
Case Resumed His Quest
Armed with a new understanding of his own goals and the electronic tools becoming available to achieve them, the case resumed his quest and ignored the naysayers. He refashioned an online video game company into one of the first interactive computer networks, although most observers doubted it would fly. He would set up shop in a nondescript suburb near Washington DC and drew derision from the high-tech digerati on both coasts. He went public in a triumphant IPO that led to seven two-for-one stock splits in seven years, but financial people were always skeptical of his abilities. He took on major competitors as his ideas gained validity and observers consistently predicted his demise.
Today, of course, case America Online got the last laugh. With more than 23 million subscribers, it is the world’s top provider of online services by a huge margin. It owns its biggest former rival, a popular web portal and the omnipresent browser software development by a cyber – pioneer, and a diverse array of other sites and products. Its 15, 000 chat rooms, ubiquitous e-mail, and instant messenger utilities, and world-class source of information and news are now offered in seven languages, available in 15 countries, and delivered over telephones and televisions in addition to computers.
AOL Historic $172 Billion Merger
And, if that weren’t enough at the beginning of the millennium case announced a historic $172 billion merger with entertainment goliath Time Warner that promised to make AOL the world’s undisputed media leader. Among other things, it also elevated the case to the head of HBO the cable channel that rejected him 20 years earlier and placed him above its former head on the new organization chart.
AOL Cable TV Industry
The first online service began appearing in Europe a little more than a dozen years after Steve Case was born in Honolulu. At the same time, he and his brother Dan were forming “Case Enterprises” which sold everything from seeds to personalized Christmas cards with help from a neighborhood paper route. The beginnings of an interactive world were forming at the hands of government-owned telephone agencies striving to promote local computer networks. A few daring newspapers published around the globe soon followed with early electronic editions accessible through television terminals. This development didn’t escape Case’s attention until years later when, as a student at Williams College, he became interested in the fledgling cable TV industry. Case saw a synergy as a potential convergence would come to be called and decided to make it his life’s work.
Case Prediction On AOL
In a surprisingly prescient projection that has since been reproduced in numerous publications, Case predicted in his 1980 resume that “innovation in telecommunications (especially two-way cable systems) will result in our television sets (big screen, of course) becoming an information line newspaper, school, computer, referendum machine, and catalog.” Potential employers like HBO refused to bite, so he put his marketing skills to work at a couple of major consumer products companies while learning all he could about both consumers and products. When he bought a Kaypro computer in 1982 and discovered how much farther this technology could advance his ideas, he switched gears and accepted the chairman’s position at a control video, a debt-ridden start-up that planned to help computer users communicate with each other. After several shakeouts control video was reconstructed in 1985 as quantum computer services and within a half dozen years had secured deals to provide general online services for machines made by the commodore, Tandy, Apply, and IBM. In October 1991 with 156, 549 members, its name changed to American Online. / AOL Stock History