What if you could text a number and get anything you want?
That’s the ambitious goal of a new startup called Magic, a text-messaging-based concierge service that promises to pull strings, place orders, and schedule deliveries all so you don’t have to.
Magic doesn’t have a dedicated app. It instead exists as a phone number nestled inside your contact list, acting as your go-to “guy” for anything (legal) you may need.
It’s only available in the US for now, and you can sign up by texting 408-217-1721.
Once you text Magic with what you’re looking for, one of Magic’s operators will ask any follow up questions (when do you need those flowered delivered?) and then get to work to make it happen.
Magic operators are available 24/7, so while you might have to worry if your favourite pizzeria is still open, you won’t have to worry about texting Magic late at night.
Exactly how Magic fulfils your request is left to the discretion of your Magic operator. Plane tickets, for example, are purchased online and emailed to you, but Magic can also take advantage of delivery services like Instacart to get things like groceries delivered to your door.
Magic charges a fee on top of the cost of the products or services you’re requesting, essentially acting as a middleman for services like Instacart or Seamless that are already acting as a middleman. That means you’re paying two premiums: one for the convenience of simplifying the process to just a text message and one premium if Magic ends up using an existing delivery service.
There’s no question that you can definitely save some money if you go directly through those delivery apps or just order those plane tickets online yourself.
Simply texting Magic is free, however, and Magic will always give you a firm price that includes a tip before placing your order. The first time you order something with Magic you’ll be sent a 128-bit encrypted HTTPS link that will take you to an online form to submit your credit card details (that way you’re not texting them your credit card number). Payment processing is handled by Stripe, which means Magic doesn’t store your payment info in their system.
Magic is clearly targeting people either too busy or too lazy to go through those steps, but it’s already blown up on Product Hunt and Hacker News, resulting in a wait list for gaining access to Magic’s operators.
Exactly how Magic plans to scale its service isn’t exactly known at this point, but so far it seems the interest is definitely there.
Again, Magic is only available in the US for now, and all you need to sign up is to text 408-217-1721. Just remember there are cheaper options if you’re willing to go online or pick up the phone.
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