18 Mar '12, 3pm
Entrepreneurial Austin: Steve Case, Tim O'Shaughnessy talk shop at SXSW
Last week’s SXSW attendees – entrepreneurs, hipsters, gamers, creatives, corporate geeks, and financiers – strolled among sessions and parties with eyes focused downward on mobile devices. Only two decades ago, Case’s AOL was faced with the branding challenge: What is the internet? It was a different time, serving Case a seven-year slog of growth and hiccups for AOL before the company went public. His was the first internet company to do so. O’Shaughnessy, meanwhile, leads a heavily financed, three-year-old upstart finding its way amid stiff competition from first-comer Groupon, newcomer Google, and late-comer SaveLocal (Constant Contact). Some analysts have cast the daily-coupon phenomenon as a fad, and last year LivingSocial reportedly lost $558 million on revenue of roughly $245 million.