Engineering at Magic

Magic is a Y Combinator-backed software company in San Francisco, CA that is building a hyper-intelligent, ubiquitous executive assistant and concierge service available over SMS.

We provide world-class service 24/7 to our influential and diverse user base, many of whom use Magic dozens of times per day and say they couldn't live without Magic. We have a large waitlist of customers that we are scaling up to roll out our product to.

Magic was founded in 2015 by a team of software engineers with one simple premise: create a natural language interface to the complexity of the world, delivered by a combination of artificial intelligence and human expertise. We are hardcore developers at heart, we are highly iterative, and we are relentless. We are minimal and focused on writing code that really matters. We don't stop until we are done.

Our primary technologies right now are Node.js, MongoDB, Meteor, Ruby, PostgreSQL, and Twilio. Experience with these are nice but not required. Bonus if you have experience with C/C++ or some type of Lisp. We believe in using the right tool for the job.

We are currently hiring for senior, mid-level, and junior engineering positions. You will be given a high degree of autonomy and will be expected to deploy impactful code to production in your first week. We're less concerned with your resume and more concerned with your ability to get real stuff done.

Come build the future of human-computer interaction with us.


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FAQ

Q: What are some example use cases of Magic?

Our users use us for tasks ranging from the simple (ordering food, flowers, flights), to the extravagant (planning weddings, private charters on demand), to the essential (calendar management, scheduling, email).

We have some example use cases on the Magic web page and the Magic+ web page, as well as our Twitter account.

Q: How do you make money?

Our standard Magic service makes a margin on purchases that our users make. For instance, if you order a dinner, a flight, or a flat-screen TV, Magic keeps a percentage of the transaction, just like Amazon or most other e-commerce businesses.

Our high-end Magic+ service costs $100/hr to use, and can be invoked on demand. If you use Magic+ for 5 minutes, you'll pay for 5/60ths of an hour.

Between these two payment models, we see a substantial amount of revenue.

Q: What software are you building?

Magic's task is to use software to tame a staggering world of complexity. Our users can put in any request or command, no matter how complex, using natural language. Our software manages each request from the moment it enters our system until it is fully complete. This includes back-end infrastructure to handle SMS messages, natural language processing and machine learning, intelligent internal tooling for our agents, and innovative layers of abstraction over the diverse complexity of the world.

As such, the software we are building is multi-faceted and there are numerous difficult and engaging problems that span the fields of human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, distributed systems, parallel computing, process automation, networking and communication, database systems, and more. All of this complexity is hidden from the user and wrapped into one seamless experience that is delivered over SMS.

We are working on a wonderfully exciting problem. Completely solving it will take years. We've made a lot of progress, and yet we're still just getting started. We have a novel approach, and it is working.

Q: What is the ultimate vision of Magic?

Current users of Magic are truly living in the future. They wake up in the morning greeted by Magic, and are offered their favorite breakfast. Magic handles their calendar and their email, and routes them throughout their day effortlessly. Magic's product today is the Star Trek computer we've always wanted. It's the AI from the movie Her, and it's available right now.

To fulfill this level of service, Magic uses a hybrid of highly-trained human agents and novel, fully home-grown intelligent software. We believe that everyone in the world deserves to have a fully-capable 24/7 assistant. In our opinion, everyone deserves to have more control over their time, to spend it doing what matters: learning, making things, relaxing, or spending time with their family or friends.

The purpose of engineering at Magic is to scale our current service to billions of users by increasing automation and decreasing the cost of delivering the service. Since we launched, demand has always been larger than supply.

Q: What is it like to be an engineer at Magic?

We are a small to medium-sized startup that is approximately one year old. Our founders are engineers, and still participate heavily in coding. Engineers at Magic are encouraged to truly understand the business and product and then deploy and implement solutions rapidly. You'll work on a daily basis with our highly talented human agents. You'll be able to delight them every day new features. You'll solve difficult problems across varying domains and you'll rapidly gain experience writing software that is fairly different from software you've likely written before.

Since our product is delivered over SMS, we have no customer-facing software, which lends us to a highly iterative and experimental software development approach. We test our code on a live firehose of data every day and it is exhilarating. We stay up late coding together because we are in love with what we're doing. Above all else, we love to make and build things, and we love to release code fast.

We use Magic ourselves every day and we couldn't imagine going back. We've had a huge waitlist of excited customers since day one, and we are scaling to release the product to more and more of them as quickly as we can.


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