The Most Important Company Of Our Era That You Haven’t Heard Of

Have you heard of General Magic?

In 1990, they set out to build a pocket-sized computer. It was the closest thing to a smartphone, something no one had thought before.

17 years later in 2007, two of the early employees of the company helped create iPhone and Android. Both control 98% of the mobile phone market at the moment.

The company had a lot of things going for it, and obviously had no dearth of talent. eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, along with Tony Fadell, co-inventor of the iPhone, and Andy Rubin, creator of Android were among early employees. They had money in the bank. In addition to raising $96 million through IPO in 1995, they had raised a total of $200 million from 16 different investors. They had raised all this money even before they had built a product.

Despite all this, they failed. There are many reasons for their failure one of them was that they never interacted with the end customer before their launch. They went for the big reveal. It works fine for companies like Apple that have a huge and loyal customer base but for a new brand with a new product and no established precedence of the acceptance of the product in the market, it is risky business.

There is a lesson for all of us there. When building a new product, or launching a career as a content creator, it makes sense to ship often and continue to get feedback while you work on your product.

That alone won’t save a crappy product, but it will make sure that you won’t create a crappy product in the place because the market will signal if they like it or not in advance and you’ll save a ton of energy, time and resources and also build a loyal fan base in the process.