Yes, there is such a thing. The RDF was controlled by Steve Jobs who used it to make Apple the richest, most admired company on planet earth. Without Jobs to control it, the Reality Distortion Field is running amok, wreaking havoc, and turning upon the company from whence it came.
Wherefore Art Thou, RDF?
The Reality Distortion Field was first identified in 1981 by Apple employee Bud Tribble. He said the term came from Star Trek but he used it to describe Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs.
Jobs’ control of RDF was first noticed on the Macintosh team. Andy Hertzfeld described it this way.
Steve Jobs’ ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing, appeasement and persistence. RDF was said to distort an audience’s sense of proportion and scales of difficulties and made them believe that the task at hand was possible.
Through the years, and especially since Steve Jobs’ return to Apple in 1997, RDF has been used to convince employees that what they do has greater impact on the world. It has been used to hype products beyond their actual capability.
Similar phenomenon have been noticed on politicians and celebrities, but RDF refers more to Apple than any other company.
Steve Jobs died in 2011. Since then, the Reality Distortion Field has left Apple and appears to be wandering in search of a soul to inhabit, staying momentarily, then abruptly leaving to whereabouts unknown.
Apple VP Phil Schiller used RDF briefly last year to introduce the iPad mini, the most expensive of 7-inch tablets with features less capable and more expensive than competing tablets. Yet, RDF was powerful enough to make the iPad mini one of Apple’s most popular products.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins used RDF to describe BlackBerry’s Z10, and to dismiss the iPhone as passé and outdated. Dell CEO Michael Dell used RDF to convince investors to take his company private.
In both cases, the RDF’s appearance was brief, and disaster rained upon Heins and Dell after it departed. BlackBerry’s Z10 has been met with a big public yawn, and Dell is scrambling to ward off other suitors for his company.
Who Controls RDF?
Clearly, the Reality Distortion Field used so ably by Steve Jobs is no longer under the control of any one person, but seems to have infected an entire industry. Which industry? Media.
In China, the media is attacking Apple’s warranty policies for no good reason. In the U.K. fathers accuse Apple of hypnotizing their children to buy expensive games and apps in the App Store.
Here in the U.S., stock analysts and shareholders have been infected with a temporary bout of RDF. The former describing Apple as a company that no longer innovates and not worthy, and the latter have been infected sufficiently to sell their Apple stock in ever greater numbers.
The Reality Distortion Field is running amok. Who knows where it will strike next? Regardless, the effects are instantly observable, though do not appear to be permanent. The effects have caused Google to think it is competitive in smartphones and tablets. RDF has caused Microsoft to believe that Windows Phone, the Surface tablet, and Windows 8 are products that will bear the fruit of success.
Both companies are losing billions in smartphones and tablets while the lingering effects of Steve Jobs ability to use RDF continue to reap huge profits for Apple. But for how long?
You’ll be able to identify the Reality Distortion Field whenever you read a news article or blog which says Android is Winning. Or, any story which implies Apple needs to fire CEO Tim Cook. The RDF is a strong force, but not easily controlled or held captive. It is thought that Steve Jobs held onto RDF longer than any human, which easily explains Apple’s financial success in the 21st century.