As with RSS, podcasting was not invented.
But with podcasting there was an Aha! moment, in a hotel suite in NYC, listening to a rock star ramble incoherently (or so it seemed) about media technology. The rock star was Adam Curry. And behind the confusion was a brilliant idea, which I explained in this piece, written on Halloween in 2000, a little over ten years ago.
I remember when it clicked for me, as if it happened just the other day. Once I understood it, and went back to California, it was less than two months before both ends of the system were working, using RSS as the transport format, and Radio UserLand as both the authoring and podcatching tool. A few years later, by the fall of 2004, lots of content was flowing across this pipe.
And while podcasting didn't make anyone rich, it certainly made our lives richer. Every day I go for a walk in NYC listening to Chris Lydon or Terry Gross interview someone, or the Radio Lab guys teach me something. Or Selected Shorts entertains me. Or whatever. "Rich" is the way I feel about the medium. It worked.