Earlier this year, we commented that the CEO, Tim Cook, would attend the graduation ceremony at Stanford University in California. The celebration took place yesterday (Sunday, 16/6) and the executive spoke, as expected, to the graduates of the class of 2019.
Cook’s speech was made even more important by the fact that Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, attended California’s university graduation 14 years ago.
In addition to the relationship between Jobs and Stanford (who was a student of the institution but abandoned it), Cook highlighted some of his mentor’s teachings, including how Jobs’s loss made him learn the “real and visceral difference between preparation and readiness.”
The executive also recalled that Stanford and Silicon Valley are intertwined since most of the talents that have graduated from university use technology to change society, but lately, “the industry is becoming known by people who claim credit without claiming responsibility. “
We see this every day now, with all data breaches, all breaches of privacy, all blind eyes turned to hate speech, and false news poisoning our national conversation.
Speaking of privacy, Cook emphasized the importance of not accepting that we should abandon privacy to take advantage of technological advances, arguing that there is much more at stake than just our data.
If we accept as normal and inevitable that everything in our lives can be shared, sold or even leaked in the event of a hack, then we will lose much more than the data. We lose the freedom to be human.
Cook also encouraged graduates to build and acknowledge the fact that the “work of their life” will be a day longer than they. In that regard, the executive recalled Stonewall’s Rebellion and said he was “incredibly grateful” for what those people had the courage to build nearly 50 years ago.
No matter what you do with your life, be a builder. You do not have to start from scratch to build something monumental. And conversely, the best founders, whose creations last and whose reputation grows rather than shrink over time, spend most of their time building piece by piece. The builders are comfortable with the belief that one day the work of their life will be greater than they. Bigger than anyone. They are aware that their effects will span generations. This is not an accident and, in a sense, is the main point.
In closing, Cook encouraged the Stanford graduates to be different and leave something worthy that one day they will have to go through.
Graduates, the fact is that when your time comes and it will come, you will never be ready. But you should not be. Find hope in the unexpected. Find the courage in the challenge. Find your vision on the lonely road. Do not be distracted […]. Be different, leave something worthy and always remember that you can not take it with you. You will have to pass on.
Congratulations to the Stanford Class of 2019! It was an honor to celebrate with you today! 🎓 Be different. Leave something worthy. And always remember that you can’t take it with you. You’re going to have to pass it on. #Stanford19 pic.twitter.com/GwW5UHslXD
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 16, 2019