Why Is Magic Worth 40 Million US Dollars In Less Than A Month?

Why Is Magic Worth 40 Million US Dollars In Less Than A Month?

— The one company you should not miss out on YC Demo Day
Why Is Magic Worth 40 Million US Dollars In Less Than A Month? That is a good question. The best way is to go deep into the problem they solve.

Booking tickets, as far as I am concerned, is a very painful process.  I have to be on a website,  compare which ticket is the cheapest, and then walk through payment. Business arrangements are particularly burdensome! One day, I complained to my close friend,  ‘if there is a broker who could help me with this process,  it would be so much better!’

Enter Magic Venture Company on Google! You may have heard of them from the YC Demo Day project selection.

What they do is simple: if there is anything you want, simply send an SAS to Magic (as long as permitted by law), and they will help fill your request.

Magic User Interface

Magic User Interface

Relying on such a simple model, Magic achieved A round of 12 million dollars funding just two days after their YC debut and it has become established in less than a month. Their valuation is said to have reached 40 million US dollars. More amazing is that the Magic team originally wanted to build a ‘Smart test blood pressure’ project. Feeling no future after two months, the team came up their ‘Aha’ moment— and Magic was born.

However, I think that Magic is interesting in two points:

  1. Provide everyone with On-Demand private service.
  2. Discard applications and return to the text messaging user interface.

First of all, on-demand service.

You can send SMS messages to Magic. For example, I want to send flowers to my girlfriend. As long as you satisfy the billing requirements, you do not need to worry about anything other than to select which kind of flower or color. Magic will help you do the rest. In addition to booking tickets, Magic can also help by ordering pizza, grocery shopping, and other chores.

Of course, it is not realistic to give an individual a personal private assistant due to the fact that the there are not enough personal assistants compared to the number of users. A society in which only the upper elite has the ability to benefit from this service, senior officials with secretaries, the star with brokers, or business elites with personal assistants.

The wisdom of Magic lies in the fact that it uses the “on demand” business model to solve this problem. In other words, you cannot have a personal assistant 24 hours a day, however, when you need it, Magic will be able to assign one to you. In this way, such resources can be more effective with scheduling to optimize utilization.

The second point, SMS text messages.

Why didn’t Magic develop a specialized application but rather use SMS messages as a service entrance?

My own judgment is that, SMS is an excellent text User Interface.

In short, a letter is more intimate, more human, and this point is a perfect fit for the concept of “on-demand”. On the one hand, The text is by far the most comfortable way of interaction between human and machine. When people need to order a service, downloading the application itself is cumbersome, whereas SMS is similar to a mobile application.

However, I think Magic will lean toward a non-standardized service direction, and not be satisfied with the existing standardized services.

Initially, an individual went out to buy something. Then there was the Internet, with a variety of applications, the user needs only to search, click, pay, then sit back and wait. Now, Magic can save your search time, and shorten the process. You request it, and they will fulfill it. This will make people more dependent on the service which will use data and algorithms to personalize recommendations. The process of evolving trends, with service becoming more and more ‘active’ and the users becoming more and more ‘passive’.

At present, Magic has a supported operation in the United States. At this stage, they still manually deal with user’s messages, however, when scale becomes larger, and service pressure increases,  it may be necessary to consider a match up with the analysis of the data, scheduling algorithm, and automated engine to operate the service.

In closing, Magic inspires me to think of one interesting issue: The trend of the service development is just like the trend of the information development  From actively getting information from the search engine to today’s mobile push notification methods, the information becomes more active. As a  more sophisticated service than information, the Magic service looks like it is following the development of information. Imagine in the future, people might be able to ‘subscribe’ to a restaurant like they ‘subscribe’ to a YouTube channel.

1 Comment
  1. Great post Zhaodi!


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