Best Tips for Entrepreneurs from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard Commencement Speech

By Tian DuBelko

 

Best Tips for Entrepreneurs from Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard Commencement Address

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was among the speakers at the Harvard graduates’ commencement on Thursday, where he laid out the challenge of creating a new purpose for something greater than ourselves.

“Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.”

During his speech, Zuckerberg talked about everything from defining career moments to global issues, such as the threat of automation to the future workforce. He also had some helpful tips for entrepreneurs during his speech. Check them out below:

On being the change:

“It’s good to be idealistic. But be prepared to be misunderstood. Anyone working on a big vision will get called crazy, even if you end up right. Anyone working on a complex problem will get blamed for not fully understanding the challenge, even though it’s impossible to know everything upfront. Anyone taking initiative will get criticized for moving too fast because there’s always someone who wants to slow you down.”

“There were all these big technology companies with resources. I just assumed one of them would do it. But this idea was so clear to us — that all people want to connect. So we just kept moving forward, day by day. I know a lot of you will have your own stories just like this. A change in the world that seems so clear you’re sure someone else will do it. But they won’t. You will.”

On how ideas are developed:

“The idea of a single eureka moment is a dangerous lie. It makes us feel inadequate since we haven’t had ours. It prevents people with seeds of good ideas from getting started.”

“Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started.”

“In our society, we often don’t do big things because we’re so afraid of making mistakes that we ignore all the things wrong today if we do nothing. The reality is, anything we do will have issues in the future. But that can’t keep us from starting.”

On freedom and failure:

“The greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.”

“When you don’t have the freedom to take your idea and turn it into a historic enterprise, we all lose. Right now our society is way over-indexed on rewarding success and we don’t do nearly enough to make it easy for everyone to take lots of shots.”

On helping others:

“Change starts local. Even global changes start small — with people like us. In our generation, the struggle of whether we connect more, whether we achieve our biggest opportunities, comes down to this — your ability to build communities and create a world where every single person has a sense of purpose.”

“We can all make time to give someone a hand. Let’s give everyone the freedom to pursue their purpose — not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because when more people can turn their dreams into something great, we’re all better for it.”

You can watch his whole speech here:

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