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July 25, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Creator of Siri says entrepreneurs are also magicians

Adam Cheyer describes his journey in a two-year old presentation that is now episode 175 of Berkeley Talks, a podcast series.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a magician? Adam Cheyer, the creator of the Siri virtual assistant that is part of Apple Inc.’s iOS operating system, says all entrepreneurs should embrace their magical side.

In a virtual presentation from February 2021 that is now episode 175 of Berkeley Talks, he discusses the long road to launching the virtual assistant, how to take an entrepreneurial idea from conception to impact, and why he doesn’t see anything as a failure.

“An entrepreneur and a magician are exactly the same,” says the individual who also founded start-ups, Viv Labs, Sentient, and Bixby during a presentation at a University of California Berkeley event. “An entrepreneur needs to imagine an impossible future. Think about Siri: 20 years ago, if I told you that you could pull a device out of your pocket, it would know who you are and where you are, and you could just talk to it using your words and it would not only talk back to you, but do things for you, book that reservation, buy a movie ticket, you would’ve thought that were magic.

“An entrepreneur has to imagine an impossible future that’s desirable, that doesn’t exist. . . . So, you have to reach far as an entrepreneur, dream big, dream magical. But you have to be very clear (and answer), ‘Why would we want such a thing?’”

The nearly 90-minute presentation can be accessed at this link.

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