This week, we speak with Jean Case, a philanthropist, investor and pioneer in the world of interactive technologies. She and her husband, Steve, created the Jean & Steve Case Foundation in 1997, where she serves as CEO. They joined “The Giving Pledge,” started by Melinda and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010, to give away the majority of their wealth to fund worthy charitable causes. She and her husband, Steve Case, were named as one of the “25 best givers” by Barron’s. She is also chairman of the Board of National Geographic (which has a $1.3 Billion Endowment), and President George W Bush named her to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
We discuss impact investing, and case noted the foundation’s goal is to “invest in people and ideas that can change the world.”
Prior to private sector work as a technology executive for two decades, Case worked in the Reagan Administration. She was an early technology at the Source, one of the first online service providers. At General Electric, she worked on Genie, a new online division for GE in the mid-1980s. She next joined America OnLine (AOL) in 1988, helping to launch the service for the Macintosh in 1989 (and the PC later). She helped to prep the firm go public as the first internet company IPO 1992 at $70 million dollars. The firm was later worth $160 billion, and was the best performing stock of the 1990s.
Case notes some surprising stats on start ups and venture funding: that only 10% of start ups had female founder, and only 1% had African American; 78% of Venture Capital went to just three places: New York, Massachusetts and California.
Some of her favorite books are referenced here.
You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on Bloomberg, iTunes, Overcast, and Soundcloud. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunes, Soundcloud, Overcast and Bloomberg.
Next week, we speak with Greg Sands, of Costanoa Ventures, and the first product manager at Netscape Communications where he not only wrote the initial business plan, but is credited with coining the name Netscape.
Jean Case Favorite Books
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case