Today, on May 4 it was the turn of the CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo (@dickc) to share his story at the University of Michigan's (@umich) commencement speech. Like any leader, Dick personally started working on his speech a week in advance, evident through his tweets:
Writing this @umich commencement address & thinking i might be quoting too liberally from The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
— dick costolo (@dickc) April 27, 2013
Finished @umich commencement speech. Safe to assume audience has read Sartre's essay on phenomenological ontology in the original French?
— dick costolo (@dickc) April 27, 2013
Thanks to @umich, I got the opportunity to watch Dick's commencement speech in real-time. Standing at the podium, he started by tweeting a photo of the students sitting in front of him and said "I'm a professional, so this will only take a second." Haha, that was so cool and showed his charismatic and funny side the way we all know him on twitter!
Commencement @umich My view twitter.com/dickc/status/3…
— dick costolo (@dickc) May 4, 2013
Dick gave an inspirational 17 minutes speech where he shared moments from his own journey like how he opted for stand-up comedy after college despite having good offers from 3 technology companies and how he saw the internet as an extensible structure that had amazing possibilities and he created a sequence of companies over the course of 20 years that led him to twitter. His story is very inspiring and here are some gems from his commencement speech:
- Make bigger choices, take courageous risks.
- You can't plan a script. The beauty of improvisation is you're experiencing it in the moment. If you try to plan what the next line is suppose to be, you're just gonna be disappointed when the other people on stage with you don't do or say what you want them to do and you'll stand there frozen. Be in this moment. Be in this moment!
- We didn't have internet in our pants, we didn't even have the internet not in our pants!
- Make bold bets and focus on what you love (referring to twitter).
- Not only can you not plan the impact you're going to have, you often won't recognize it even while you're having it. The impact is what others frame for you and the world after it happens. The present is only what you're experiencing and focused on right now.
- You cannot draw any of your paths looking forward. So, you have to figure out what you love to do, what you have conviction about and go do that.
- There are no expectations (after college). There's no script.
- When you're doing what you love to do, you become resilient because that's the habit you create for yourself. You create a habit of taking chances on yourself and making bold choices in-service to doing what you love. If on the other hand you do what you think is expected of you, or what you're supposed to do and thinks go poorly, or chaos ensues as it surely will you will look to external sources for what to do next because that'll be the habit you've created for yourself. You'll be standing their frozen on the stage of your own life. If you're just filling a role, you will be blind-sided.
- Believe that if you make courageous choices and bet on yourself, and put yourself out there that you will have an impact as a result of what you do and you don't need to know now what that will be or how will it happen because nobody ever does.
- Be bold. Make courageous choices for yourself.
- Don't always worry about what your next line is suppose to be. There's no script. Live your life. Be in this moment. Be in this moment. Now, be in this moment.
- Remember to say Thank You! #GoBlue
Found some inspiration? Then watch Dick's complete speech, you just can't miss this!
Dick's commencement speech reminded me of his tweet to me 2 years back. Today, I can once again say that yes, twitter is sending us positive thoughts and these are definitely more valuable. :)
@arifkhan7 @delbius @jess we're sending you positive thoughts. Those are more valuable :)
— dick costolo (@dickc) November 5, 2011
Thank you Mr. Costolo for inspiring us!
In this moment,
Image Source: Ann Arbor.com