Unleash the Magic of Innovation

Experience immersive workshops on product development, team building and resilience in the approach to failure, told through the General Magic story.

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‘A captivating history lesson with global appeal.’
'General Magic is such an involving documentary for so many reasons it’s hard to know where to begin. The title itself, as it turns out, might be best.'
'This geekily funny doc inspires big dreams at every turn.’
'Poignant, entertaining and full of life lessons from the small and personal to the universal.’
'General Magic is a reminder of how compelling stories about technology can be.’
'General Magic captures the legendary Apple offshoot that foresaw the mobile revolution.'
'A fascinating look at what it means to fail, and whether a failure that changed the world is really a failure at all.'

General Magic

Stream general Magic now

General Magic is available to watch on VOD platforms worldwide.

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Host a private screening of General Magic for your organization paired with live panels and team-building workshops.

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General Magic tells the tale of how a great vision and an epic failure changed the lives of billions.

In 1990, at a secretive Silicon Valley start-up, a small and passionate group of innovators and engineers formed to build a magical device that would enable anyone to connect everyone to everywhere and everything – a personal computer in your pocket.

Before the advance of the internet or mobile devices, General Magic developed brand new technologies that we take for granted today, such as touchscreen computing, USB, the cloud and even emojis. By 1994, General Magic had formed an alliance of the top global telecommunications and consumer electronics companies to ship the world’s first smartphone, yet ultimately failed.

What if failure isn’t the end, it’s actually the beginning?

The award-winning documentary weaves rare archival footage from 1990’s Silicon Valley alongside interviews with former General Magic employees, reflecting on the meaning and importance of failure in innovation and how they’ve taken these lessons into their careers today.

the cast

Watch the trailer

How to watch General Magic

You can rent or purchase General Magic on VOD streaming platforms in the US / UK.
Available worldwide on Vimeo.

Contact us about private screenings and workshops for your organization.

Broadcast Partners

Workshops, Panels & Screenings

The General Magic story inspires today's innovators, offering unique lessons on product development, team building and resilience in the approach to failure - all found in our General Magic Workshops, Screenings & Live Panels.

Former General Magic employees are available to speak upon request.



Our immersive workshops are curated to each audience with an invitation to explore the General Magic story and be inspired by it's impactful message and lessons. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their own work and identify ways in which they can apply the lessons from General Magic to their own projects and ventures. See unseen archival footage and meet the filmmakers.


Featuring filmmakers and Magicians, panels are custom designed to touch on themes that resonate uniquely with each audience. Viewers will be able to share their reflections and ask questions. Often paired with in-person or virtual screenings.

Private Screening

Share the film with your team in-person at a venue of your choice, or with a remote virtual private screening for your team, either via a watch party or a window to stream on-demand.

Request a quote

Please contact us for more information about how to host a private screening, panel or team building workshop.


Previously screened with

“A rippling standing ovation followed the film. We Estonians are typically straight faced as people, resistant to emotion or expression in public, but the film resonated something deep within our audience.

Triin Kask, CEO and Founder - Nevercode

“My hope and dream is that General Magic elevates the purpose of each Town employee.”

Dan Ault, Chief Innovation Officer, Town of Cary

inspiring Lessons for teams

The compelling story of General Magic shows the powerful value that lies in failure, perseverance and teamwork amongst other empowering themes. Teams and groups will find inspiration in this legendary piece of history.


General Magic tells the tale of how a great vision and an epic failure changed the lives of billions.

Produced and directed by the Emmy nominated Sarah Kerruish and Matt Maude, this award winning documentary features legendary members of the original Macintosh team alongside young, future creators, all who brought us the technologies we rely on today.

Tony Fadell

Co-inventor of the iPod and iPhone, founder and former CEO of Nest Labs, Principal at FutureShape, and NYT Bestselling Author of 'Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making'.
Get Tony's book

Megan Smith

Engineer and humanitarian, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer within the Obama Administration, former VP at Google and co-founder of The Malala Fund and shift7.

Andy Hertzfeld

One of the world’s greatest software engineers, Andy was one of the original members of Apple Macintosh team. Co-founder and ‘Software Wizard’ at General Magic and co-creator of Google Circles.

Joanna Hoffman

Member of the original Apple Macintosh team, Head of Marketing at General Magic and the woman who famously stood up to Steve Jobs.

Marc Porat

CEO of General Magic and visionary of the 1989 smart phone. Former member of the Aspen Institute, founder of multiple companies in the sustainability and the built environment sectors.

Kevin Lynch

Former CTO of Adobe, creator of Dreamweaver, lead engineer on Apple Watch and current VP of Technology at Apple.

Steve Jobs

Apple CEO and Founder. Leader of the Macintosh Group. The prophet in exile who would return to Apple to carry the General Magic vision to billions.

John Scully

Former Apple CEO. The benefactor who gave General Magic it’s life, then launched the Newton competitor.

Pierre Omyidar

A former tech support engineer working at General Magic, Pierre would develop an online marketplace from the company's offices. Today, eBay generates over 10 billion dollars in revenue per year.


Michael Stern

Michael Stern has practiced law in Silicon Valley for 35 years. He has worked with General Magic, Pixar, Adobe, NeXT, and eBay. His varied background as an English professor, journalist, and Dickens scholar led to the story development of the General Magic documentary.

“Working at General Magic was an all-consuming, life-changing experience for me. The company was full of the smartest and most creative people I had ever known. It was a story that cried out to be told.”

Matt Maude

Matt is a multi award winning director, writer, cinematographer and producer. At the Tribeca Film Festival, he was nominated for the Best New Director Award.

“There was this amazing moment reviewing the archival film, seeing all these young people sitting on the floor of a tiny office … the people who made the iPod, Nest, Android, eBay, the emoticon, the touch screen, the modem, tools we can’t imagine living without today.”

Sarah Kerruish

Sarah, a Peabody Award winner and Emmy nominee, was part of the original documentary crew at General Magic. She currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer at Kheiron Medical, dedicated to the detection and treatment of breast cancer using AI.

“Our hope is that this film will inspire the next generation of technologists and makers to learn from those who have gone before them and apply the lessons of General Magic to solving the most important problems of our day.”

Veronica Miles

Impact Producer

After successfully producing a red carpet premiere in Silicon Valley for the Magicians, their families, and colleagues, Veronica joined the General Magic team in 2018 to lead the distribution and impact strategy for the film. Her background as a filmmaker and event producer fuels her passion for creating memorable film exhibition experiences. She oversees the development of the film’s private screening events and works directly with clients.

General Magic Soundtrack

Listen to the General Magic soundtrack:



Stream general Magic now

General Magic is available to watch on VOD platforms worldwide.

Book a General Magic Event

Host a private screening of General Magic for your organization paired with live panels and team-building workshops.

Book an Event