Lessons From Steve Jobs #2: Reality Distortion Field

Reality distortion field (RDF) a phenomenon in which an individual’s intellectual abilities, persuasion skills, and persistence make other people believe in the possibility of achieving very difficult tasks. This is Steve Jobs’s special ability to heavily encourage his team members, and important leadership attribute that contributed significantly in Apple’s superior accomplishments through this point.

With his RDF, Steve’s ultimate goal was not to beat other competitors or make a lot of money; he just want to make the best product in this world. Bud Tribble, Apple’s early software designer; described RDF as an ability to transform reality into Steve’s desire. Andy Hertzfeld, member of Macintosh development team which led by Steve, described RDF as a combination of charismatic rhetorical-style, unbeatable desire, and vigorous willingness to distort the existing reality into one’s volition. The effect of RDF is insanely effective, although the people influenced would not aware they were already affected by RDF.

An example of RDF is in case, if Steve could not persuade someone with an argument, he would sprightly replace it with another. Steve sometimes would tackle you until you lose your balance, establish your arguments into his arguments, without realize he had other way of think before. Another example is described by Debi Coleman, also one of the Macintosh team member, when Steve used his RDF, he would sharply gaze at you, even if he randomly bring you with Kool-Aid flavors drink, you would surely drank it.

Hertzfeld also explained that he and other Macintosh team members tried a couple of times to avoid RDF, but after a while, they gave up and accept that as a force of nature. In a way, this is somehow funny! 😀

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