Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Reality Distortion Field

Reality Distortion Field (abbr: RDF) is a term first heard in the Star Trek series. This term referred to optimism being taken to great heights, so that mere mortals could do things way beyond their reach. But this term went almost unnoticed, unpopularized, until Budd Tribble used this term again. Budd Tribble was an MD, PhD working at Apple Computer as a manager of the development team. Being a trained physiologist, he noted Steve Jobs' ability in keeping his team highly motivated by an intriguing mixture of his charisma, charm, exaggeration and clever marketing.

Steve Jobs made his programmers believe that they could "just do it", and his team then put in enormous amounts of effort in their work, leading to heightened productivity and efficiency. The result was Apple Computer passing milestones of success, non-stop.

How to create Reality Distortion Field:
  1. Be optimistic yourself.
  2. Present small achievements as "breakthroughs", interesting developments as "turning points" and "huge leaps forward".
  3. Use your personality and charisma effectively for convincing others "you can do it"
  4. Be funny about your ideas.
  5. Be ready to bend the facts to fit the purpose at hand.
  6. Make others follow you, and then make them dream of success.

  1. The effect of RDF is quite volatile. It stays only as long as the initiating force (Steve Jobs in this example) is around the subject, and withers off in his absence.
  2. RDF works effectively even when the subject knows about it.

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