Ostensibly a book about magic, David Kwong’s introduction lets the rabbit out of the hat: “The Business of Illusion”. In the seven chapters that follow, he illustrates the principles of magic as applied to the business world. If you are looking for how magicians perform their tricks, you will be disappointed; if you want to learn marketers’, then this is a good place to start.
The chapters outline principles such as “loading up” (i.e. being prepared for any contingency) and “control the frame”, two pieces of advice most experts would agree on: Doing the groundwork in advance and having a communicative goal in mind are a cornerstone of most business operations. But the books really gets interesting (and dodgy) when he discusses “design free choice”: in magic, that means you lead a participant to the choice you want by letting them think that they control the individual steps. An example of how not to do this is shown via Apple’s launch of “Lightning Cables” with its iPhone7 : A new technology, yes, but one that makes all previous accessories obsolete, leaving the customer with no choice at all but to buy a new array of accessories (or an adapter) that they don’t want.
If you enjoy illusionists, watch David Kwong on TED. Buy the book if you want an in-depth discussion of how to get people to believe illusions, whether on stage or in a product launch.