Dear Class of 2020, be impatient: Sundar Pichai's note to graduates
The Google CEO gave his commencement speech for the new graduates from his backyard and spoke about his great love for technology and the indomitable spirit of prevailing.
YouTube hosted a star-studded convocation for the Class of 2020 that had the likes of Barack Obama, Beyonce, Billie Eilish, Sundar Pichai etc live streaming commencement speeches where they shared some advice for the new graduates.
The Alphabet and Google CEO gave his commencement speech from his backyard and mentioned that he now understands what YouTube content creators have to deal with. Pichai’s seven minute address had one overall message - “You will prevail”.
“The reason I know you’ll prevail is because so many others have done it before you. One hundred years ago, the class of 1920 graduated into the end of a deadly pandemic. Fifty years ago, the class of 1970 graduated in the midst of the Vietnam War. And nearly 20 years ago, the class of 2001 graduated just months before 9/11,” Pichai added.
Pichai pointed out in his speech that we often underestimate the potential of the generation that follows us since we don’t realise that the progress we have made is the foundation for those to come.
He explained this thought with the example that today’s graduates have grown up with computers of all shapes and sizes which can be asked anything, anywhere - the very thing Pichai has spent the last decade working on. This doesn't make him feel bad, he said, it makes him hopeful.
Particularly to those pursuing a career in technology, Pichai’s advice was - “be impatient”.
“There are probably things about technology that frustrate you and make you impatient. Don’t lose that impatience. It will create the next technology revolution and enable you to build things my generation could never dream of,” he said.
Pichai spoke of the time he arrived at Stanford for a masters degree in material sciences and engineering, that’s when the Internet was “being built all around him”. And he understood that this Internet would be key towards making technology more accessible to everyone. Something that he is still working on.
“Inspired by the wonder that first browser created in me, I led the effort to launch one—called Chrome—in 2009, and drove the effort to help Google develop affordable laptops and phones so that a student growing up, in any neighborhood or village, in any part of the world, could have the same access to information as all of you,” he said.
Pichai closed his speech with the following message - “I know you’re getting a lot of advice today. So let me leave you with mine: Be open … be impatient … be hopeful.”