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    • Chris MacAskill

      The General Magic Movie premiered at Tribeca to rave reviews a couple months ago, and then in Silicon Valley on Thursday to an audience of 1,100. I saw several of you there. It will play again at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley on August 3.

      The most prominent cast members took the stage after the movie to answer questions from a journalist and the answers from these important figures in tech were fascinating. But we didn't have time for audience questions.

      I started a Cake panel and invited some Magicians and filmmakers. This conversation is open to all, so if you have suggestions for questions of the panelists, let me know! Here are a couple of mine:

      Why do you think so many General Magic employees went on to achieve such extraordinary things? How much of it came from hiring an amazing team versus some other factor like what they learned from working there?Most of you came from Apple, which was known for building its own hardware. Why did you not follow that path? Photo by Steve Maller:

    • I thought the movie was really well done and very interesting, as was the Q&A session afterwards. Many of us in this area have had some similar experiences, although not always with such spectacular highs and lows. I'd encourage people to check it out if they have the opportunity.

      I'd be interested in hearing more of their thoughts on what makes a company/team/individual successful in a high tech environment. Some possible questions:

      What attributes do you particularly look for in hiring new team members (e.g. specific technical skills, educational creds, enthusiasm, communication skills, emotional intelligence, etc.)? And, what do you particularly look to avoid?

      What features of company culture do you think are important to create successful, thriving teams? And, what would you look for as red flags that would hamper success?

      How do you weight the relative importance towards success or failure (and possibly the share of rewards in an ideal world) of the CEO vs. senior leaders vs. individual contributors?

      What does it take to keep teams performing at a high level when it's no longer a startup environment but a larger company in it for the long haul?

    • What has surprised you most about how technology has developed in the past 20 years?

      What do you think we can do to alleviate the worst problems it has created?

    • It's no secret that some of the greatest innovators came out of General Magic. The concentration of talent for such a small startup is unheard of, and warrants a documentary about it.

      Did the environment at General Magic provide the mentorship for these innovators or was General Magic exceptionally good at finding talent that would inevitably go on to change the world decades later?

    You've been invited!