Marc Porat

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Marc Porat
BornUri Porat
Alma materColumbia, Stanford
Occupationentrepreneur, angel investor
Known forGeneral Magic, The Information Economy

Marc Porat is a tech entrepreneur and angel investor. He is founder of six companies including General Magic. In the early 2000s, Porat was a member of a high-profile wave of tech executives who founded cleantech companies.[1][2] He launched three companies in the built environment: Serious Materials, Zeta Communities, and CalStar Cement and was a member of the U.S. China Green Energy Council.[3]

Early career[edit]

Porat authored a pivotal work entitled The Information Economy[4][5] as his doctoral thesis at Stanford University in which he predicted the transition from a manufacturing-based U.S. economy to one based on information. Porat is credited with first identifying the U.S. as an "information society."[6] Later, his nephew Aaron Hurst defined and wrote about the "Purpose Economy" and credited Porat with the inspiration for predicting the rise of a new economy.[7]

After Stanford, Porat worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce and then served as a program director at the Aspen Institute and was later appointed Executive Director, Washington Activities of the Aspen Institute Program on Communications and Society.[8] While at Aspen, Porat produced the film The Information Society[9] for PBS.

After leaving the Aspen Institute, Porat co-founded Private Satellite Network (PSN).[10] The company was a direct broadcast satellite innovator that built and operated television and data networks for Fortune 500 companies and governments. The firm pioneered the use of small aperture rooftop antennas for videoconferencing. The company was sold and Porat joined Apple Computer.[11]

General Magic[edit]

Porat co-founded General Magic in 1990 with Andy Hertzfeld and Bill Atkinson from the original Mac team. The company built the first handheld communications device called Magic Link. Referred to then as a “personal intelligent communicator,” it was the precursor to the smart phone PDA.[12] The company also pioneered "intelligent agents."[13]

Porat served as CEO from 1990 to 1996 and took the company public in 1995 at a valuation of $834M. The stock doubled on the first day.[14]

The Built Environment[edit]

In 2002, Porat co-founded Serious Materials, a company manufacturing high-efficiency windows and drywall [15] He then founded CalStar Products in 2007, a firm recovering energy from industrial waste streams. He also co-founded Zeta Communities (ZETA) in 2007,[16] a firm designing and manufacturings net-zero energy multifamily housing that won the Green Builder Home of the Year Award.[17]


  1. ^ "Silicon Valley tech leaders are reinventing themselves for a cleantech revolution". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  2. ^ "Green Building Entrepreneur: Build Green or Face Catastrophe". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  3. ^ "Porat, Marc | US-China Green Energy Council". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  4. ^ Porat, Mark Uri (May 1977). The Information Economy: Definition and Measurement. Washington, DC: United States Department of Commerce. OCLC 5184933.
  5. ^ Porat, Marc Uri. "The Information Economy: Definition and Measurement".
  6. ^ Salvaggio, Jerry. "The Information Society: Economic, Social, and Structural Issues". Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  7. ^ "How Do You Create A New Economy Based On Purpose And Meaningful Relationships?". 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  8. ^ "Aspen Institute Annual Meeting 1978" (PDF).
  9. ^ The information society, 1980-01-01, retrieved 2015-08-30
  10. ^ "Private TV Networks Flourishing as Satellite Technology Advances". Gadsden Times - Google News Archive Search. June 24, 1988. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  11. ^ "Growing Apple with the Macintosh: The Sculley Years". 2006-02-22. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  12. ^ Businessweek. "Marc Porat: Philosopher of the Shared Vision".
  13. ^ Kline, David (1995). "I Want". Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  14. ^ Markoff, John (1995-02-11). "COMPANY NEWS; General Magic Stock Surges on First Trading Day". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  15. ^ Review, MIT Technology. "Serious Materials - MIT Technology Review". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  16. ^ "Startup Builders Make Waves in Recession's Wake". 2011-09-09. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  17. ^ "ZETA Communities wins green award for affordable, zero-energy townhome". Retrieved 2015-08-30.