There is a lack of documentaries on the technology industry, especially when you consider that there is so much great material for storytelling. The Discovery Channel is making a nice contribution with its new series, "Download: The True Story of the Internet."
I am a self-acknowledged documentary junkie. I love biographies and history. However, I have often lamented the dearth of documentaries on the technology industry, especially since there is so much great material for storytelling.
The new series Download: The True Story of the Internet from the Science Channel / Discovery Channel helps fill the void. I watched it on Discovery HD and was impressed. The host is John Heilemann (right), who reported for Wired during the dot com boom and was a first-hand witness to much of this history.
The series is broken up into four parts. Here are the official Discovery Channel descriptions of the episodes:
- Browser Wars - This is the story of an epic battle between America's mightiest corporation and a small group of "computer geeks" who created a revolutionary technology.
- Search - In a few short years, a new and unique way of finding information revolutionized the Web. In the process, Google grew into one of the largest companies in the United States.
- Bubble - The founders of Amazon and e-Bay, Jeff Bezos and Pierre Omidyar, tell the stories of how their businesses grew from nothing to dominate the global economy. These companies have changed the way Americans live.
- People Power - The Internet has changed society and a new breed of entrepreneurs is shaping the digital future. Find out how it all started with Napster, a way of swapping music dreamt up by the teenaged Shawn Fanning.
On Saturday, April 5, you can watch all four episodes concurrently starting at 7:00 PM Eastern on the Science Channel. If you can't watch it at that time, take a look at the Science Channel's schedule for airing the Download series. Since the Science Channel isn't available everywhere, I hope Discovery also releases the series on DVD. The sooner the better.