Posted May. 27, 2017 07:08,
Updated May. 27, 2017 07:24
When it comes to a college dropout’s commencement speech, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs comes first to my mind: “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” He lived his life like what he said. He gave the speech at Stanford in 2005 when he brought Apple back on track and four years have passed since the launch of the iPod, a game changer of the market. Talking about his personal history with so many ups and downs, he said, “Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,” which garnered a lot of applause.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, born in the same year as Jobs, gave a commencement speech at Harvard in 2007 where he dropped out. He said, “Dad, I always told you I'd come back and get my degree.” He said he regretted very much about leaving the university without knowing well about the inequality of wealth, health, and opportunities, which leave millions of people around the world in despair. Citing his mother’s letter that people with more fortune should be more responsible, he stressed prestigious university graduates are responsible for confronting inequalities.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave a commencement speech at Harvard on Thursday (local time). Though he is also a Harvard dropout and tech billionaire, he is different from Jobs or Gates in that he who is 33 and is the same generation of the graduates. Zuckerberg stressed building a world where every single person has a sense of purpose. He showed some tears when he talked about an illegal immigrant child’s dream. While he is still in his early 30s, his speech was as serious as those of people in their 50s such as Jobs or Gates.
Some say that he might be interested in politics as he mentioned climate change and basic income and opposed totalitarianism or isolationism. It is true that what he mentioned is nearly opposite to U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies. However, I think his speech is an invitation to young graduates asking them to address problems that he experienced and felt while connecting the world with Facebook together. It reminds me again that a critical mind based on experience is irrelevant to age.