Steve Jobs at 27: Reality Distortion Field, Technical Weakness, and Mike Moritz

by takingpitches

This profile of Steve Jobs in this Time article from 1983 is one of the most consequential articles in US business history. The start of the Steve Jobs RDF narrative.  Read the article and note the gratuitous knocks on Jobs’ technical ability.  (And of course, this was written by Mike Moritz, later of Sequoia Capital and investor in Google, Yahoo, Paypal, and many others)

“He can con you into believing his dream,” says Bill Atkinson, who by some estimates is the most gifted programmer at Apple. A company consultant, Guy Tribble, says that Jobs sets up what he calls “a reality-distortion field. He has the ability to make people around him believe in his perception of reality through a combination of very fast comeback, catch phrases and the occasional very original insight, which he throws in to keep you off balance.” By whatever name—the dream, the Ditch, the rap, the reality-distortion field—Jobs’ unwavering ambition and ferocious will have caused a number of people to be come rich. Says Jobs, employing perhaps extravagant arithmetic: “We’ve made about 300 people at Apple millionaires.”

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