“Grandma, you have to see this new show that we found on Netflix. I think you’d really like it!” my son told my Mom. “Really? What is it?” replied my Mom, intrigued. “It’s a show about a Dad and his son and his crazy co-workers in this small town. It’s really funny and doesn’t have bad language,” he continues. “You’ve probably never heard of it,” he adds. “It’s called the Andy Griffith Show.”
This conversation really occurred in my house last year, when my kids thought they had discovered this show which ran 8 seasons in the 1960s. They were shocked to learn that their grandma already knew about the show. In fact, she had watched it every week when it was broadcast, first in black and white and then in color. My kids “discovered” Andy Griffith like Columbus “discovered” the new world or the world “discovered” TED talks over the past few years. Things around for decades, centuries, or even millennia get rediscovered when new technology makes it possible.
My kids would have never watched Andy Griffith without NetFlix serving up suggestions. Columbus would have never discovered America without the help of ships and navigation technologies (however flawed they were). TED would have never extended beyond an event for 1,200 people in Canada each year, if it weren’t for the ability to stream video online, which extended the platform of the events and the “ideas worth sharing” to multiple continents and cultures.
What old things are worth discovering again? What technology innovation will be required to make that discovery possible?