Great story from Alex Bain from his first go around with Apple. My dad used to tell me that the best way to get more playing time in sports was to always stand by the coach. It's some of the best advice I've ever been given, and it looks like Alex received the same advice.
I was just a kid, but I liked being the voice of truth. Tim Cook sat at the end of a long table, and I’d try to get there early and sit as close to him as I possibly could. Most folks had more skin in the game than I did, and tried to sit far away, so wasn’t exactly taking someone else’s seat.
For a while, I was focused on the education market, which tends to sell in large clumps, and has big swings up and down. Some weeks were bad enough that they could put the whole quarter meaningfully in jeopardy.
I knew when I joined Apple that Steve Jobs had a reputation for being quite vocal, at times screaming in frustration. I was surprised to see in these meetings that when Tim Cook was disappointed or wanted to get a point across, rather than getting louder and louder, he’d get quieter and quieter. Not like a wimp would, but like Jack Bauer would.