On a recent episode of the Acquired podcast (at about 54:50), the hosts made a novel comparison: between first/second/third wave coffee and different eras of the consumer web.

Since podcasts have a legibility problem (that is, they are difficult to find and search after the fact), I wanted to share the comparison here.

Wave 1 One-size-fits all, self-service Folger’s AOL
Wave 2 One-size-fits all, social Starbucks Facebook
Wave 3 Personalized, bespoke, custom Local stores What’s App, Instagram

While I’m not a big fan of third-wave coffee myself, I look forward to seeing how the next wave of technology companies develops.