I’m not sure what provoked my interest earlier this week, but I enjoyed watching the documentary from a few years ago on the history of General Magic. Living in Silicon Valley, I remember hearing stories about the company – and the talented people working at the company led by CEO Marc Porat.
Watching the documentary provided some great background into how the company innovated in so many ways yet wasn’t able to be a commercial success. Lessons learned included how great ideas fail when they’re too early for the technology to support them, the implications of trying to partner with other large companies, and the dangers of competition that “fast follows” on your ideas.
Last night, I stumbled across another fun video produced by the Computer History Museum about the history of MacPaint, Quickdraw, and more as told by Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld. They were both early employees at Apple, very important software developers on the Mac platform, who left Apple to be early founders of General Magic. Listening to them talk about the early days of development at Apple was very interesting.