Working with BillG

Fascinating account by Joel Spolsky on what it was like having your work reviewed by Bill Gates in the early years. Excerpt:

Over the years, Microsoft got big, Bill got overextended, and some shady ethical decisions made it necessary to devote way too much management attention to fighting the US government. Steve took over the CEO role on the theory that this would allow Bill to spend more time doing what he does best, running the software development organization, but that didn’t seem to fix endemic problems caused by those 11 layers of management, a culture of perpetual, permanent meetings, a stubborn insistance on creating every possible product no matter what, (how many billions of dollars has Microsoft lost, in R&D, legal fees, and damage to reputation, because they decided that not only do they have to make a web browser, but they have to give it away free?), and a couple of decades of sloppy, rapid hiring has ensured that the brainpower of the median Microsoft employee has gone way down (Douglas Coupland, in Microserfs: “They hired 3,100 people in 1992 alone, and you know not all of them were gems.”)