HSN – the Home Shopping Network – is a company that made history and left a profound mark on the American lifestyle, as well as on its pop culture. Numerous movies and shows reference characters that make purchases from HSN – because the company managed to turn this experience from mere shopping into a favorite pastime for many.
The idea for the company was born in 1977, when the manager of a radio station was paid in can openers. He hired a star of the airwaves to try and sell the can openers during a special show, which turned out to be such as success, that it launched an entire genre where anything can be sold. There is indeed some magic in watching somebody demonstrate all the hidden qualities and all the possible uses of a product on television – instead of just a quick commercial which tries to squeeze everything within a few seconds – and HSN seems set to continue to grow, even if a large part of its operations has now shifted to the online environment.