It’s definitely recommended (though not necessary) to understand the original vision. I strongly advise everyone to read the original 2008 White Paper by Satoshi Nakamoto. You can download it at: http://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf or for those who prefer to listen instead, Stefan Molyneux did a great job of narrating it here.
Here is a an interview from Aug 2011. If only we had listened…
So what makes it so special
There are now more interviews and video’s out there than what a person can reasonably watch, but the Joe Rogan Experience #446 with Andreas Antonopoulos (Jan 2014) was one of the best in depth interviews. (Starts at 10:45)
James D’Angelo has an excellent educational series called Bitcoin 101 Blackboard. One video in particular is a must watch mostly because no one else is mentioning the fact that many exponential growth curves are normal and just level off:
Choosing a Digital Wallet