What gets lost as we make things better?

  • Netflix DVD subscribers could choose from about 100,000 titles
  • Netflix streaming subscribers can choose from about 6000 titles*

Netflix stopped it’s DVD service earlier this year

That’s 94% less content on digital. Which is quite something in this golden age of streaming. It’s easy to believe that we have all the world’s information at our finger tips, but perhaps that’s just blind optimism.

Easier, quicker, more profitable, user-centred. What gets lost as we make things better? (What is better?) There’s no right answers for this type of problem. But probably a load of wrong ones.

I was surprised by these numbers — 6% — surprised by how much gets left behind as we make progress, maybe I’m naive. It’s not Netflix’s job to be a public library, and I wouldn’t turn the clocks back, but it still feels something missing. And it’s a reminder that progress destroys as well as creates. How we do that is up to us**, sometimes.

* https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/04/media/netflix-dvd-subscription-mail-trnd/index.html

** Assuming we’re privileged enough to be in a position of influence at a business driving the progress.