Bill Gates penned a column for BBC News in which he talks about how digital technology has transformed almost everyone into an information worker – and the skills needed to succeed. He mentions this in the context of innovation:
“Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.”
Gates also says he places a high value on having a passion for ongoing learning, which I’ve personally found and observed to be tremendously important.
Related story: a few summers ago I spent a week at Hood Canal, a fjord off Puget Sound in the state of Washington. Bill’s summer house was adjacent to my resort. Each evening a helicopter landed at the dock, and Bill would pop out of the copter, briefcase in hand, with his family there to meet him. “Honey, I’m home!” The next morning, the copter would pick him up at the dock to whisk him off to Redmond. He’d kiss his wife goodbye, and you could imagine Melinda saying, “Have a good day at work, honey!” Maybe some billionaires aren’t that much different than you and me.