Silicon Valley is a fantastic documentary covering the birth of American technology entrepreneurialism. Watching the entire thing for free on my iPad seemed especially fitting.
I can't recommend this film enough. It's a look into one of the most important tipping points in American history and the lives of men who sowed virtually all of the seeds that would grow into the technological standard of living we have today.
For me, one of the obvious sub-themes was how critical government spending was to the creation of technologies that would have otherwise had no market because they were unaffordable to 20th century consumers.
I think the defining distinction between the last twenty years of government military spending and the spending that took place in the 20th century is that this recent round seems to have produced no technological side benefits for society.
World War II, the space race, and even the Cold War of the 20th century were all boons for the American economy—intentional or not. Post-1980s military spending has only served to buy a nice, heavy yoke that will likely adorn the middle class's neck for the rest of my working lifetime.
This century, the consumer has clearly replaced the government as the primary client of new technology. The most successful companies seem to be those that cater to the consumer rather than the bureaucracy. I just hope the consumer can keep up.
via Justin Blanton