Life in the Imperial Court

This is wonderful — an account of what it was like to work at Microsoft in the early days.

So you’re in there presenting your product plan to billg [Gates], steveb [Ballmer], and mikemap [Mike Maples]. Billg typically has his eyes closed and he’s rocking back and forth. He could be asleep; he could be thinking about something else; he could be listening intently to everything you’re saying. The trouble is all are possible and you don’t know which. Obviously, you have to present as if he were listening intently even though you know he isn’t looking at the PowerPoint slides you spent so much time on.

At some point in your presentation billg will say “that’s the dumbest fucking idea I’ve heard since I’ve been at Microsoft.” He looks like he means it. However, since you knew he was going to say this, you can’t really let it faze you. Moreover, you can’t afford to look fazed; remember: he’s a bully…

Worth reading in full. Thanks to Billt for the link.