My breakfast with Bill Gates

Last week I had breakfast with Bill Gates. Myself and

2223 other people had double lattes and stale donuts

as he shared the state of the digital world. To be frank,

I didn’t know what to expect so I thought this was a

terrific opportunity to get to hear this person who has

impacted our world in a very substantive way. Whether

you agree with Microsoft’s business practices or not,

the impact that Bill Gates has had is incredible and

getting to spend breakfast with a billionaire is a good

way to start your day.

There were a few observations that I thought I would


* Billionaires get nervous too – There was some

trouble with his wireless mike (not a software

problem). He was definitely thrown off his game at the

start but once they got him a new mike he quickly got

back on track.

* Big breakthroughs are based upon little

breakthroughs – This also applies in our careers. It is

typically a series of little breakthroughs that opens the

door for the great leaps.

* Professional and personal convergence – Just

as the world of technology has bridged all elements of

our lives, so is the case in our careers. When our

personal and professional lives become more

aligned, this creates what I call a sweet spot.

* The digitized economy – The world is a very

seamless place so we can work anywhere, anytime

and get paid on line. I think that is cool.

* Power to the user – If you notice the big

technology hits, they are enabling users to have more

input and control. This is similar to our careers. We

have more power and we need to learn how to use

this responsibly!

The one thing that made the most impression on me

was his optimism. He is very practical and

acknowledged the challenges in the world but was

really excited about the next 10 years in our world. If

you think of the demands and the complexity of his life

and the challenges that he is a part of, you might think

he would be more critical. His authentic optimism is

the big thing that I will take away from my morning with


Along the road with you,