Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts.
The first part is called The Pledge. The magician shows you something ordinary; A block of metal, plastic and glass. Perhaps he asks you to inspect this thing to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course, it probably isn’t. You’ve seen objects like this before and at first it’s the same as any other. Everyone else is craning their necks to get a closer look, and whisperings of ‘gorilla glass’ and ‘machined stainless steel’ start making you curious as to if this is as ordinary as it once appeared.
The second part is called The Turn. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Look at how it glows, how beautiful the interface is and how many apps you can fill it with. Look how it replaces a hundred other things you didn’t know you needed but now can’t live without. Look at how much better it is than the one the year before. Marvel at how productive you can be with all these new features that magically float above the the circuit boards. How can something so perfect come into being? Now you’re looking for the secret, but you won’t find it because of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t want to find out. You want to be…fooled.
That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call The Prestige.
Until now, The Prestige has been a metaphor for bringing some kind of ‘newness’ to an already saturated market under the term ‘innovation’. Innovation is the ability to deceive and embellish, pulled from a short but grossly overused list of marketing jargon where we find such terms as ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘game changing’. What we praise, drool over and lust after as a consumer driven society is an illusion that comes at a very high human and environmental cost. The real Prestige, the real magic, would be to break away from this. To build and contribute to a society that is beyond obscene levels of profit and exclusivity, and to take risks and reward leadership that is about truly leading, not fueling the artificial fires of supply and demand that are causing irreparable damage to the very world we live in.