How Apple’s Launch Event Distorted Reality — Again

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CUPERTINO, California — Abandon objectivity, all ye who enter an Apple product launch event.

“Reality distortion field” is a phrase long associated with this company, and with good reason. It goes back to 1981, when Apple manager Bud Tribble first used it to describe Steve Jobs’ absolute unshakeable certainty that the Macintosh computer was going to ship in 1982. (In fact, it wasn’t ready until 1984.)

Tribble’s phrase was soon applied to Jobs’ entire approach to business — a testament to his leadership skills, his ice-cold charisma and most especially, to his on-stage speeches. That stagecraft really kicked up a notch when Jobs returned to the company in 1997, and Apple product launches instantly went from snoozefests to rousing rallies that excited and energized attendees, and pushed all questions or concerns to one side. Read more…

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