Just finished watching Halt and Catch Fire on Netflix, which I think is brilliant by the way. Apparently the show won’t be returning for a fifth season, so here is a nice review from Wired since I can’t write as eloquently.
When I first heard of the show, I had the impression that it was simply dramatising the events leading to the birth of Compaq (Silicon Cowboys is the actual documentary of this story that I thoroughly enjoyed too), but the series went on to explore online gaming, e-commerce (think early days of eBay), community (bulletin boards?), carrier and subscription-based networking, birth of internet, browser wars and search (Yahoo-type versus Google?). In parallel it was also a show about the human relationships between the protagonists, the start-up culture and the do-or-die fearlessness of entrepreneurship; you can have great idea or even be on the cusp of victory, everything can still crash and burn. The key is to be able to take failure in its own stride, move on and reboot.
I really like this ending phrase “They’re [computers] the thing that gets you to the thing.” New technologies that appears at breakneck speed (even more so than the period when the show was set in) are tools which allow us to achieve goals but more importantly connect us to people that matter the most.