The Third Wave – Is your business with or against the tide?

By keith bateman on April 7, 2016

In Steve Case's new book, “The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s View of the Future”, he discusses the impact of the internet on how we do business today. Steve maps out how the world has already advanced through the first Two Waves of the internet, and that we are currently progressing through the Third Wave which affects the largest sectors in our daily lives. 

The First Wave

  • Took place from 1985 to 1999
  • Internet-based companies like AOL, Cisco, & Microsoft emerged as innovators in IT
  • Creation of the groundwork that allowed the world to go online and start connecting

The Second Wave

  • Took place in the 2000's
  • 2 billion people able to connect with each other over mobile devices
  • Age of building platforms on top of the internet groundwork
  • Creating apps, service platforms, and marketplaces on top of IT infrastructure

The Third Wave

Steve Case defines The Third Wave as being when “the Internet integrates seamlessly and pervasively through every aspect of our lives, changing how we work, how we learn, how we stay healthy, how we get around, even how we eat.” Just by walking down a city street you can see the many ways the internet is prevalent in our daily lives. Kids reading their textbooks on Ipads, business professionals emailing as they get their coffee, and retail stores accepting payment via mobile phones. The internet has started to become a necessity in our daily personal lives. 

But how does this directly affect our business lives? – Steve Case explains that people will begin to see that “startups in some of the largest sectors that impact our lives – transportation, health, education, financial services, to name a few – will have the tools necessary to have transformative impact.” The Third Wave will ring in a new era where small businesses can no longer be pushed down by large corporations that have dominated industries for decades.

Now that everyone has access to the same tools and knowledge on the internet, you have seen companies like Lyft, Uber, Airbnb and Fitbit disrupt specific industries that have been normally adverse to change or outside innovation. 

Steve also points out that companies like Google have blazed the trail for large companies that have built a culture of looking to disrupt the marketplace with new and sometimes seemingly “crazy” ideas. If you don't know what Google Fiber is, then I would suggest “googling” it. This is an example of a company that started off as a search engine on the internet and is now looking at being your internet provider.  Companies in today's world cannot afford to have blinders on to new ideas(no matter how out there they may seem), and must be constantly on the look-out for competition(big and small). 

As a company, Canvas was born just around the approach of The Third Wave. We have built a culture where everyone, regardless of department or role, has the ability to share ideas, get feedback, and participate in the iteration process. Being a startup, we also see ever day the disruptions that we are making in the industries of field services, construction, energy, hospitality and more. We have been able to create partnerships with companies and industries that would not have been possible 10 years before, and that is a true indication that we are a part of The Third Wave

If you would like to learn more about GoCanvas or what we can do to for your company, give us a click!