Andy Miller, who joined Apple as a vice president after Apple bought his mobile advertising company in 2009, asked Jobs if he could join the board of an independent company in a different business than Apple. “What?” Jobs responded. “You’re barely cutting it here,” Jobs said, which Miller understood to be relatively high praise, “and you want to go spend your time helping someone else’s company? I don’t even let Forstall out of the office,” Jobs added, referring to Scott Forstall, Apple’s mobile software chief, a high-ranking and considerably more influential executive than Miller. Needless to say, Miller declined the board membership offer.
I can picture the slight, wry grin that must have accompanied this conversation.