Marc Porat

Cofounder and Former CEO of General Magic

Marc Porat came to Apple Computer in 1988 with an idea that evolved into General Magic. In the following two years, Marc assembled a team code-named “Pocket Crystal”. Apple spun out the company in 1990, including Macintosh pioneers Andy Hertzfeld, Bill Atkinson and Joanna Hoffman and an extraordinary group of engineeers. General Magic went on to develop a smart phone (1995) that has been described as a precursor of the iPhone and Android, and an intelligent-agent based cloud. A documentary about the company, "General Magic” premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and placed as one of the top 10 films.

Marc’s PhD dissertation, The Information Economy (Stanford 1976) was a macroeconomic model showing that an emerging "information sector” comprised of knowledge workers and information technology would become the dominant driver of there U.S. economy and workforce. After Stanford, Porat joined the Aspen Institute, where he produced and hosted a film, The Information Society (PBS, 1980), exploring issues such as the emergence of knowledge workers, rapid technological evolution, privacy, the digital divide, and information overload.

Porat was a senior economist at the US Department of Commerce and co-founder of a DBS company, Private Satellite Network. Following General Magic, Porat founded Perfect Commerce, a reverse auction company. Since 2002, he created three companies focused on sustainability, climate change and the built environment — Serious Materials, Calstar Cement, and Zeta Communities. He is Chairman and co-founder of My Ride to Vote, a SuperPAC providing free ride-share to voters who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to the polls.


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