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Steve Case's Second Life as D.C.'s Favorite Businessman

How the Internet pioneer went from corporate villain to the Beltway’s favorite businessman
Steve Case's Second Life as D.C.'s Favorite Businessman
Photograph by Brian Finke for Bloomberg Businessweek

Click image to see how this week's cover got made
Photograph by Brian Finke for Bloomberg Businessweek

It helps that he’s an hour late and his audience has spent the time getting into a keg of Shiner Bock, but when Steve Case walks into the Austin (Tex.) offices of the startup he’s just invested $40 million in, he gets a deafening welcome. More than 100 employees of Bigcommerce, a four-year-old company, are on their feet or perched on swings in its huge game room, with plate-glass views out over Hill Country. Case, overdressed from a meeting earlier in the day at the U.S. Capitol, is in a button-down shirt, pleated slacks, and tasseled loafers, looking a generation older than the scruffy dot-com workers he’s about to address. All he gets out is “Hey!” and then they’re chanting: “Steve! Steve! Steve! Steve! Steve!”