Growing Up With Harry Potter

I was talking to a high school student this weekend who said, rather matter of factly, "I grew up with Harry Potter." Color commentary is that the Sorcerer's Stone hit the bookshelves when student and story protagonist were the same age, and now the final installment in the world's most-read wizard's tale will coincide (roughly) with high school graduation. The thought was a sidebar to a longer conversation about good and bad television, the quality of media, and my own surprise at seeing former Princeton classmate Cecil Hoffman walk onto my living room's TV via the fifth season of LA Law.

But the notion of growing up with characters that we adore stuck with me, because I had trouble identifying any characters from the big or small screen that paralleled my own life (please, no Revenge of The Nerds jokes just yet). The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family didn't age, and at the time I guess it wasn't too weird that Greg Brady lived with his parents until he was in 19th grade. Fonzie on Happy Days lived in the suspended animation of Friday night television until he was forced to visit Milwaukee in the Laverne and Shirley spin-off. Stories were told, but we watched, ate ice cream, and forget about the characters until next week. There was no way to find any facet of life reflected in the glare of the prime time television. Not until I ran into Michael and Elliot's Company in thirtysomething did we find characters who looked, aged, and dealt with made-for-TV crises the same way I did, or at least the way I would had our positions behind and in front of the screen been transposed.

I have emphasized to our global systems engineering team, and to the larger customer engineering community at Sun, that storytelling is a critical part of an outstanding customer experience. If we can relate what our customers need to what our products do, and convert the language of technology to the language of business, then there's a good story waiting to be told. Should customers, employees, or partners find themselves reflected in the narrative, we grow our community. It's less the magic of Harry Potter and more watching him grow up that fascinates those of us who are, at any age, spellbound by good storytelling.

Comments:

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.
About

Hal Stern's thoughts on software, services, cloud computing, security, privacy, and data management

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today