The Fruits of Civilization (26-9-5) America Online

 America Online

One of AOL’s biggest assets is its brand. ~ American business executive Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL

America Online (AOL) originated in 1983 and struggled for a decade. Then, in the mid-1990s, it caught on as a consumer Internet access portal. By 1998, half of the US homes with computers were dialing into the Internet via AOL.

AOL had no technological advantage, and no understanding of how to advance from its success. It just happened to be in the right place at the right time, then went about buying up related properties when it could afford to.

In 1999, AOL acquired Netscape, which made the most popular web browser of the time. Nothing profitable came of it.

In January 2000, AOL bought Time Warner for $182 billion, forming AOL Time Warner. The hurrah of the merger was short-lived.

In 2003, Time Warner scratched AOL from its name like it was a bad rash. 6 years later, AOL was sluffed off to fend for itself; leaving as its only reason for continued existence its brand name.