Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Commencement Speech At Harvard University: Highlights

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Commencement Speech At Harvard University: Highlights

The highlight of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's speech was to create a sense of purpose

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg joined the elite list of Harvard dropouts who have addressed the graduating class of the Ivy League institution on Friday. Others in the elite list include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who delivered Harvard University's commencement speech in 2007.


Mr Zuckerberg studied computer science at the university before dropping out and moving to Palo Alto, California. The 33-year-old billionaire co-founded Facebook as 'thefacebook.com' in 2004 with his fellow Harvard students Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz. Initially exclusive for Harvard students, the social media platform soon became popular globally with the help of prominent angel investors, including Peter Thiel. Today, Facebook is accessed by nearly 1.9 billion users and has inspired many other tech giants, including Snapchat and Twitter. Mark Zuckerberg was named Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2010 and Forbes magazine named him among the 'World's Most Powerful People'. On Tuesday, a nostalgic Mark Zuckerberg live-streamed a visit to his old dorm room, where he made tech history with his friends.

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Here are the highlights of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's commencement speech at Harvard University:
  • I want to look back at the day I got into Harvard University
  • I remember the time I met Priscilla Chan at Harvard. It was the best thing that happened to me at Harvard
  • I am here to tell you about finding purpose. But you must know, finding purpose isn't enough. We need to create a world where everyone should find a sense of purpose 
  • I look back at the time I launched Facebook from the dorm in Kirkland house 
  • I was excited to help connect the Harvard community, but never thought that someone would someday connect the world. We didn't realise that 'someone' could be us
  • You have to help form purpose for others. I have learnt that the hard way
  • A couple of years in, big companies wanted to buy us. I did not want to sell, I wanted to see how many people we at Facebook could connect 
  • After one particularly tense argument, one advisor told me if I didn't sell, I would regret it. Within moments, our management team was gone. That was when I believed in what I was doing
  • Every generation has its defining works. More than 3,000 people worked to put that man on the moon, many worked to eradicate polio and create dams
  • You might think, 'I don't know how to build a dam,' Let me tell you something, no one knows when to begin. You just have to get started
  • If I knew how to connect people before I started it, I wouldn't have started Facebook.
  • Getting into Harvard is the thing my parents are most proud of me for
  • How many of you remember your first lecture at Harvard? Mine was Computer Science 121
  • I was running late, so I just wore a t-shirt. I realized I was wearing it inside out
  • I couldn't understand why no one spoke to me. One person spoke to me and today he is an important part of Facebook. This, class of 2017, is why you should be nice to people
  • I launched Facemash after which I was called by the Ad Board. They thought I was going to get kicked out
  • Be prepared to be misunderstood. They may call you crazy even if you're right. Anyone taking initiative will be criticised for moving too fast
  • In our society, we don't take on big things because we are scared of making mistakes
  • It is time for our generation to find stuff. How about solving climate change before we destroy the world
  • Today, our society spends more on finding solutions for diseases people don't get, than to look for solutions to those that people always get
  • Let us do big things not just to create progress, but purpose 
  • Facebook wasn't the first thing I built. JK Rowling had face rejections. Beyonce had to write many songs before she got to 'Halo'
  • Today, we have a level of wealth and equality that hurts everyone
  • When I can leave this place and earn in millions, many cannot pay their student loans, let alone start their own business
  • You get successful by being lucky too 
  • Every generation expands its definition of equality. Generations before ours fought for the right to vote and for civil rights. Now, our generation has to define a new social contract.
  • We must look to have a society that measures success by not only GDP
  • We must look to have a society that is focused on providing continuous education
  • Giving everyone the right to pursue their purpose should not be free of cost. People like me should pay for it as well 
  • That is why Priscilla and me started our initiative
  • We millennials are already one of the most charitable. But it is not just about giving money. You can give time. I often thought that I did not have enough time
  • We can always make time to give someone a helping hand
  • Building a community is another way to find a purpose 
  • When we speak about purpose for everyone, we mean everyone
  • I want to know, how many of you are from another country, raise their hands? How many are friends with them?
  • Citizen of the world: That's a big deal
  • Every generation expands the circle of what includes 'one of us'
  • We can be the generation that ends poverty and diseases
  • No country can prevent climate change by doing it alone. Progress means coming together
  • We live in an unstable time. There is pressure to turn inwards.

    This is the struggle of our times
  • This is not a battle of nations, but is a battle of ideas
  • There are people for people to be be open and a good number of people against it
  • We have to start building local communities right now
  • We all derive a lot of meaning from our communities. Be it our houses or sports teams, it gives us a sense that we are not alone
  • I know we can all rebuild these communities and start new ones
  • A student in a dorm, connecting one community at a time and keeping at it until one day, when we can connect the world. That is my story
  • So, class of 2017, you are graduating into a world that needs purpose and it is up to you to build it
  • Before you walk out of those gates one last time.. I am reminded of a prayer 
  • 'May the Source of strength who blessed the ones before us. Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing'
  • Good luck out there


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