By Jonny Lupsha, Wondrium Staff Writer
The Video Game Entertainment and News Network has found $17 million in backing, AP News reported. The station will launch in 2020 and will provide original content based around video gaming competitions. Business is evolving with the digital age.
According to AP News, the Video Game Entertainment and News Network (VENN) has found investors in companies like Twitch, Riot Games, and Blizzard Entertainment. It will function similarly to ESPN, but focus on video gaming instead of traditional sports. VENN is the latest example of how business is adapting with what entrepreneur Steve Case calls the “Third Wave” of the internet. According to Case, the First Wave consisted of the creation of the internet, the Second Wave saw companies building websites and apps for internet use, and the Third Wave continues to integrate online connectivity into our daily lives.
With industry moving from internet connectivity itself to apps and now to tech-enabled life away from screens, business owners and their companies will have to adapt to fit market demands. “As entrepreneurs look to disrupt the Third Wave sectors, they will experience fewer overnight successes and will require the three P’s—Partnerships, Policy, and Perseverance—to ultimately be successful,” Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, said.
In terms of partnerships, Case mentioned his own experiences building AOL during the First Wave. “At AOL, we had hundreds of partners by the time we had made it, but on the climb to the top, we only had partnerships with Commodore, telephone companies like Bell South, and the big PC manufacturers of the time: Tandy, Apple, and IBM.”
As for policy, Case said that AOL had to work with the government to make getting online legal. “Up until 1992, it was actually illegal to connect a commercial online service like AOL to the internet,” he said.
Finally, perseverance was key for AOL to become as successful as it was. Case cited failed partnerships with Apple and also AOL’s doomed first life as Control Video Corporation as setbacks they had to move past, as they developed their new company and made in-home internet connectivity a reality.
Diamonds in the Rough
The sectors that Third Wave businesses will be disrupting are major ones already in our lives, so entrepreneurs will need intricate knowledge of them.
“It makes a lot of sense that the best person to develop a breakthrough technology in a Third Wave industry would have expertise given the complexity of the field,” Case said. “It may make sense, for example, for someone who grew up on a farm in Iowa or Nebraska and has spent most of their life working in agriculture to revolutionize the industry.”
One specific example of this is Under Armour. “It was helpful for Under Armour to be headquartered in Baltimore, near Johns Hopkins, when it wanted to introduce evidence-based science to its portfolio of health and fitness applications,” Case said.
VENN, as a TV channel, has a similar foundation of experts in the field. According to AP News, VENN is a joint venture between entrepreneur Ben Kusin and “four-time, Emmy® winning producer Ariel Horn” who, as Case advised, would surely know the ins and outs of the industry. Whether VENN will revolutionize the industry remains to be seen.
Steve Case contributed to this article. Mr. Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and a pioneer in making the internet a part of everyday life. In 1985, Mr. Case co-founded America Online (AOL), which became the world’s largest and most valuable internet company.