The reality distortion field and Mac OS X

The reality distortion field and Mac OS X

I’m one of the few people that don’t believe in the Steve Jobs reality distortion field. While I believe there is some magic involved, there are three factors at play:

  • Apple makes some really great products (and bad ones too)
  • People are cynical about big companies and believe that if someone is telling them how great something is, they are lying
  • Steve Jobs was a very, very persuasive person

Having said that, I did witness one event that was definitely a reality distortion field. No one wrote about it or criticized him for him. It’s like a hypnotic spell overtook everyone who saw or read about it.

Mac OS X ship dates

Like any major software undertaking, Mac OS X was perpetually late. Apple promised Mac OS X would finally ship in the fall of 2000.

Like anything associated with this story, there is no YouTube video, no transcript, nothing. You only have my word on it.

Steve Jobs got up on stage at MacWorld New York in the summer of 2000 to tell everyone the progress of Mac OS X. A round of applause followed him saying that everything was on schedule.


He said they were going to change the name of the releases. The fall 2000 release would now be Public Beta and the final release would be in the spring of 2001.


Hardly. That’s what you call a final release that is 6 months away.

But he got away with it.


Partly I think it’s because people wanted SOMETHING to ship and couldn’t care less whether it was 1.0 or a beta. So, no one cared.

But maybe it was an actual instance of the reality distortion field.