Try to imagine, if you can, Bill Gates saying the F-word. You can't right? So imagine how scary it would be to hear him angrily say it to you when you've been working for him most of your professional career! That's exactly what happened to Ed Fries and thanks to a Neogaf thread...we have an account of how the "Valentine's Massacre" and the creation of the modern Xbox went down...
"So we go into the meeting and four o'clock Valentine's Day--Bill walks in he's holding a Powerpoint deck and yells, 'This is the blanking insult to everything I've done at this company' and that was the start, so we all looked at [Xbox director and designer J Allard] because we knew Bill's mad about the no Windows thing, because we forgot to 'pre-disaster' him, so J is in shock for a minute and Bill yells at me and shuts me down and Robbie steps up and Bill shuts him down anyway, and then Ballmer goes through and says we're gonna lose a lot of money and he's beating us up about that, hours go by its five o clock, its six o clock, it's Valentines Day! Most of us have something going on!
"So we spent years working on this and looking at each other and convincing them this is the best plan, so finally one of the observers at the meeting just raises his hand and says, 'What about Sony?' and he says, 'Sony is slowly invading the living room with a processor here software there, they could be a threat to Microsoft.' So Bill and Steve stop and look at each other and go, 'Yeah...what about Sony?' And so Bill turns and says, 'I'm going to give you guys everything you want' and Ballmer repeats the same thing. And I turn to Robbie and say, 'That was the weirdest meeting I've ever been in.'"
Well obviously it all worked out for the best but I cannot imagine putting my ass on the line in the midst of one of America's richest men and telling him his idea is wrong. I just couldn't do it would you?