‘It had Apple’s fairy dust sprinkled on it’

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The official trailer for General Magic, the documentary film, was posted on YouTube last week.

 

From the Hollywood Reporter’s Tribeca Film Festival review:

See if you can identify the following people: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Mark Porat.

If you puzzled over the last name, don’t feel bad. Porat was the founder of a technology company called General Magic, which you also probably haven’t heard of despite it once being described in Forbes magazine as “the most important dead company in Silicon Valley.” Matthew Maude and Sarah Kerruish’s documentary General Magic, receiving its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, provides a compelling history of a company that created a groundbreaking product that was unfortunately ahead of its time.

The company, started in 1990, was a spinoff of Apple, which six years earlier had unveiled the Macintosh. The idea was to create a handheld personal computer, essentially a precursor to the modern smartphone, and its roster included some of the best and brightest talents in the technology industry including Andy Hertzfeld, Bill Atkinson, Megan Smith, Kevin Lynch and Tony Fadell. As a New York Times journalist says of the fledging enterprise, “It had Apple’s fairy dust sprinkled on it.”

My take: I remember the guys at General Magic. I remember what Apple did to them. What I didn’t know was what they did next. See below (click to enlarge):

General Magic

General Magic

General Magic

General Magic