Commencement Speech

Steve Jobs at StanfordHaving just participated in our graduation proceedings this past weekend, I found it amusing that someone at work posted a link to Steve Jobs’ commencement speech  to Stanford University a few years back.

http://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html

While I still find Steve Jobs a bit too pompous for my taste (on top of the fact that I had a horrible experience on a project that BDM forced us to use NeXT), I think his speech hit the mark.  As we discussed in our Entrepreneurship class, a failed business venture (or getting fired from your own company) does not mean the end of your career.  Your skills, knowledge, and inborn mental ability endures beyond any job you might have.

I have been laid off twice, both from companies to which I made massive contributions.  Until you have been there, I don’t think you can fathom what a mental blow it inflicts.  Experiencing that event really rocks your foundation and your belief in yourself. 

“Am I not as good as I thought?”

“Am I really that much of a troublemaker?”

“Should I be doing a different job?”

I think that Steve Jobs really got it right. To paraphrase: “Don’t be constrained by other people’s preferences/dreams/goals”.  And, if someone can bounce back from being fired from their own company..  it has to give you hope that those folks out of work will persevere and find their next great job.

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