What if I told you that a simple text message could secure you anything your heart desired? Plane tickets emailed to you, dinner delivered, flowers sent to your fiancé. A new SMS service simply called Magic promises just that, and its flashy name proves apt because it would be totally amazing if it worked and in fact would seem not to.
As Re/code reports, Magic began as a side project from entrepreneurs at the startup incubator Y Combinator. The Magic team, led by Mike Chen — a fellow whom Re/code has dubbed Magic Mike — thought that the current slate of same-day delivery services like Postmates and Instacart "still required too much work." Just sit with that for a moment.
"As long as it's legal and possible we can do that," Chen told TechCrunch. "It may be expensive, you may want a helicopter to Vegas, but if its possible we will do it." And how? They'll just use the Internet like you would have. Payments are, quoting Chen here, "guesstimates" that factor in time and hassle. Magic handles them via payment service Stripe and doesn't have your credit card information. It's all up to to your Magic operator, who has full discretion.
By now, Magic has gone viral on tech blogs and mainstream media, fueling demand that's exposing the facade of the service. For one example, Re/code tells the story of a less than magical quest for a chicken parm delivery. And anecdotally, it seems most people are ordering tigers and the like to test the limits of Magic.
The service already looks to be more a story of Internet in 2015 than that of a startup success. It's a tale of media driven hype, but hey, here we are. Chen "had zero idea it would get like this," he said to TechCrunch, who report that he sounded overwhelmed on the phone. "You know people say things happen overnight and I didn’t believe them before and now it’s happening to me.” Now that's some Silicon Valley magic.
Yes, I want to believe. I'd like to order a Nimbus 300 Quidditch broom via a text message. But I'm also content with the existing wizardry of the web. Magic is just a service layer, one of a proliferating array of middlemen merely doing what you can already.
But hey, if you're interested in investigating Magic for yourself, just text (408) 217-1721. Be aware that there's a wait-list and that it sounds like, after all this press, the magicians are currently overwhelmed.