Described by Forbes as the “most important dead company in Silicon Valley”, General Magic is a documentary about how great vision and epic failure changed the world as we now know it.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Apple launches the Macintosh and transforms the way we use computers.
A company called General Magic is spun out from Apple to transform how we use a telephone.
General Magic ships the first handheld wireless personal communicator— what today we call a smartphone.
From mobile computing, social media, downloadable apps and e-commerce to touchscreens, emoji and USB, the products and services that now dominate the tech industry and our day-to-day lives were born at General Magic.
But this was before the Web, before 3G, before Google, before even those bricklike mobile phones were in every pocket.
The technology, networks and online content that make an iPhone possible today just weren’t there in 1994. Neither were the users—not yet.
But although General Magic failed, the vision, the concepts and the people who pioneered them went on to change everything.
It’s 2017. The iPhone X has just been released. eBay sell a quarter of a billion dollars worth of goods every day. And anywhere, anytime communication is now on our wrists. Each of these incredible world changing feats has been shaped by a Magician.
But instead of the masters achieving these feats, it was the apprentices who went on to really change the world. They took the vision and the lessons learned at General Magic and went on to found eBay, develop Android, create the iPod, iPhone and Apple Watch, and eventually, lead digital transformation from within The White House.
Combining rare footage from the early days of General Magic with contemporary stories of the Magicians today, this is the story of one of history’s most talented teams.
General Magic is a story that captures the spirit of those of us who dare to dream big and the life-changing consequences when we fail, fail again, fail better, and ultimately succeed.
| The Cast
The visionary with the right idea and the right pitch but the wrong timing and the wrong execution.
The Yoda of our story, one of the world’s greatest software engineers and the man forever putting the new first.
The truth teller who famously stood up to Steve Jobs. Courageous about confronting reality and speaking truth to power.
The Frodo of General Magic. Who undertook the quest to take anytime, anywhere communication to our wrists.
The humanitarian and brilliant young engineer who now operates at the centre of the world stage.
The apprentice who worshipped then surpassed, who saw the cracks and witnessed his gods become mortal.
The benefactor who gave his blessing, then launched the Newton without a word to the Magicians.
The prophet in exile, whose spirit and rebellion haunt this story.