I've been watching House of Cards, the new hundred million dollar Netflix-original series starring Kevin Spacey and produced by David Fincher. Here's the trailer:
The show is excellent.
The writing is solid, the acting is outstanding, and the production quality matches HBO. That's no accident. As Netflix's CEO said: “The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”
But this isn't just a great new show, it's TV reinvented for the internet.
Since Netflix isn't constrained by broadcast schedules and advertisers, they can do things differently (like release all 13 episodes the same day). The show is written as if commercial breaks don't exist--because they don't. No interruptions, no gimmicky cliffhangers. The story just keeps going.
Reinventing TV for the internet has made it better. No worrying about schedules, runtimes, or advertisers. You just tell the story.
And TV isn't the only thing being reinvented for the internet. Everything is.
Amazon isn't just a digital Wal-Mart: it's what happens when you use the internet to re-invent low-cost retail. Uber is the internet's answer to "where's my cab?" Even digital oldtimer eBay is a new solution to an ancient problem.
Think of all the businesses and industries still stuck in pre-internet times. Each of them is an opportunity. If you understand the internet you can do what they do better, faster, or cheaper.
But to do so, you need to speak the language of the internet. And that language is code.