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What can we learn from Magic Leap’s latest PR trip?


NewsHubStealthy mixed reality startup Magic Leap has been having a bit of a tough time on the publicity front of late. Its head of PR departed last month , following a report by The Information suggesting it had inflated claims about its tech, and that a commercial product remained far further out than its marketing messages had suggested. And that despite investors ploughing some $1.4BN into the three year old, still productless startup.
All of which perhaps explains why CEO Rony Abovitz felt the need to leapt into 2017 by penning a blog post aimed at putting some positive puff back into Magic Leap’s image.
The problem is, you can’t fight cynicism with hot air. And Abovitz’s post has Zeppelin’s worth of the stuff.
First a few sample reviews from some nameless grumpy mouse tech bloggers : “this is the dumbest thing I have ever read”… “it sounds like an ‘essay on creativity’ assignment written by an 8th grader”… “wow”.
And now a few sample lines from Abovitz’s post itself:
You get the idea. (You can read the blog in full here .)
The whale-sized problem in the room here is that penning some trippy PR is not going to go very far towards correcting a growing suspicion that all might not quite be as it seems at this highly financed, heavily hyped mixed reality startup.
And as my colleague Lucas Matney wrote last month: “It’s clear that the time has arrived for a shift in the way the company communicates its ambitions.
“While the process of miniaturization has advanced more slowly than the company may have expected, where the clearest failures have lied is in the cult of mystery and high expectations that Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz seems to have chased in order to inflate his company and his own premature illusions of grandeur, all of this before the company has anything to back that visionary status up with.

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