Seinfeld, Apps, Scripts, and Wearables

We recently un-cut the cable cord and I once again have a 100s of channels to be disappointed by. Naturally, I've watched a lot more Seinfeld over the past few weeks than I have in the past few years years.

This week I saw an episode where (1) Kramer moves to LA and lands a small role as a Murphy Brown's secretary and (2) George and Jerry discover that Elaine has secretly been working on a Murphy Brown script.

Because Seinfeld was so driven by "observational humor" it acts as a record of what things were kind of really like in the '90s and it occurred to me that our Seinfeldian predecessors can help us understand ourselves.

Kramer : Desktop computers :: Jeremy : Wearables

What strikes me in watching Kramer's Murphy Brown scene is how much of a foreign object the computer seems to be. It's central to the gag - Kramer is flummoxed and clearly overwhelmed - but the computer isn't central to the fictional office. Turns out that what was once a super-powered typewriter that evolved and miniaturized and came to run the world.

This got me thinking about my own reaction to new technologies, such as wearables, and my tendency to dismiss them as (needlessly) super-charged versions of already pretty good tools. My guess is that it won't be long before the glasshole jokes become seen as a goofy step in an important evolution. As Fred Wilson puts it, we're probably headed to a mesh.

Elaine : Sitcom Scripts :: Everyone : Apps Under the Age of 40

I wasn't old enough to have a side project in the '90s but between Elaine writing a secret Murphy Brown script and that scene in Swingers when Jon Favreau's character tells Heather Graham that he moved to LA because he heard that they were giving standups TV deals as they walked off the plane, I get the sense that writing a script was what every bored editor, lawyer, banker, and consultant dreamed of doing instead of their day job.

Observation 2: Is "I'm working on an app" is going to sound as silly as Elaine's Murphy Brown escape plan. It's already something of a joke and I sincerely hope that someone is writing a book right now called "I Don't Care About Your App".