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史蒂夫.凱斯為2013年北卡羅萊納大學教堂山分校畢業生演講

Steve Case 2013 Spring Commencement Address at UNC-Chapel Hill

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:史蒂夫.凱斯(Steve Case)

2013年5月12日演講

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講(來源YouTube

身為「美國線上」共同創辦者及Revolution執行長的史蒂夫.凱斯於2013年北卡羅萊納大學教堂山分校春季畢業典禮演講。將近3萬5千人前往Kenan體育場為6000多名畢業生祝賀。

 

關於史蒂夫.凱斯(來源Wikipedia

Stephen McConnell "Steve" Case(生於1958年8月21日)是美國企業家,最廣為人知的身份是AOL(美國線上)前執行長兼董事長。自從2003年辭去AOL時代華納董事長職務後,他藉由自己的投資公司Revolution創立多種新型企業。此外,他也擔任妻子Jean Case經營的凱斯基金會主席。

 

史蒂夫.凱斯為2013年北卡羅萊納大學教堂山分校畢業生演講

 

女士先生們,歡迎史蒂夫.凱斯。

 

(掌聲)

 

早安,很高興在這美好的一天來到北卡羅萊納的藍空下,與穿著藍袍的北卡羅萊納畢業生見面。很高興重返教堂山。過去幾年我有幸數次造訪此地,陪同歐巴馬總統和他的就業委員會擬定公共政策提案,多次與三角研究園區令人振奮的青年創業者見面,更重要的是,我有機會造訪美麗的UNC(北卡羅萊納大學教堂山分校簡稱)校園,在Thorp校長的經濟學125課程中,進行關於創業精神的客座演講。當然,也在Dean體育館觀賞比賽。我展開教堂山一天的方式或許和在座某些人相同:開車到日出烤餅屋的得來速窗口買早餐。(歡呼聲)(掌聲)那些烤餅或許不是開始一天的最健康方式,但確實美味極了!

 

進入演講主題前,我想先向老友Holden Thorp道謝。在UNC度過大部分職業生涯、在北卡羅萊納生活大半輩子後,如你們所知,Thorp校長即將展開一段嶄新的冒險旅程。因此請和我一起為校長來個Tar Heel(UNC校隊名稱)式歡呼,感謝他對這所大學及國家的傑出貢獻。開始歡呼之前,我希望你們知道,杜克大學也於今天上午舉行畢業典禮。因此大聲點,確保在Durham的他們聽得見我們的歡呼。那邊喊「Tar」,這邊喊「Heel」。準備好了嗎?

 

Tar-Heel!

 

Tar-Heel!

 

Tar-Heel!

 

很好,太棒了!謝謝各位。(掌聲)

 

很榮幸在這個令人興奮的日子裡與大家齊聚一堂。我想恭喜每位畢業生,也恭喜你們的父母,和所有犧牲奉獻、幫助你達到今日成就的人。無疑地,他們今早都以驕傲的心情慶祝你們的成就。坦白說,畢業典禮對父母來說或許有點難熬。你們或許不曾想過,這對他們來說也是一個過渡期和轉變期。今早醒來時,他們還是你們的父母;但今晚就寢時,他們更像是你的同輩。

 

我想今天對在座某些人來說或許有點苦樂參半。你們因達成畢業要求而欣喜,因取得學位而自豪,因邁入下階段人生而興奮。但同時,你或許有點焦慮。你握著手中的文憑,但不太確定未來將如何發展。

 

半世紀前,大多數畢業生致力於一份工作和職業生涯,畢生都在那條道路上前進,現今情況已不再相同。大多數人不僅從事多份工作,也可能擁有多種職業生涯,因此關鍵在於不斷學習,保持好奇、保持開放、保持彈性,使人生呈現不同篇章,別執著於特定結局,當機會敲門時忘了開門。

 

但無論你最終打算做什麼,無論你選擇哪條道路,我希望你記住幾件事,當你今天走出Kenan體育場後。具體來說是三件事-只有三件,我稱之為「3P」,那就是:人(People)、熱情(Passion)和毅力(Perseverance)。我發現它們是成功的關鍵,無論你選擇做什麼,因此我想在今早與大家分享。

 

第一個P是指「人」。人生旅途中,無論你打算做什麼,成功的機會多半取決於與他人共事的能力。事實上,常有人說,「做什麼」不如「與誰合作」來得重要。你周遭的人,無論配偶、朋友或同事,最終將成為決定你人生方向的主要因素。因此不要只注重工作性質,或打算加入之機構的品牌名聲,也得注重為誰工作、與誰共事。你們很快就會明白,無論你多聰明、或多願意為工作奉獻,最終成敗主要取決於如何激勵他人與你共事及為你效力。我很喜歡一句古老的非洲諺語:「如果想走快,就獨自上路;如果想走遠,就必須結伴而行。」其中蘊含深刻的智慧。獨自前行似乎較容易-只需單打獨鬥即可。但如果結伴而行,將使你的影響力發揮到極限。花時間打造適合的團隊,建立適當的人際關係,就能走得更長遠。因此第一個重點在於「人」。我建議你們在未來的日子裡,時時檢視自己,確保周遭的人能使你更上一層樓,達成比單打獨鬥更大的成就。

 

第二個P是「熱情」。每個人都有許多感興趣的事物,但真正令我們熱衷的不多。我建議你們專注於自己熱衷的事物-那些想到或談起時會令你精神一振的事物。這正是你應該把握、並藉此規劃人生的機會。

 

坦白說,我十分幸運。我從30多年前開始熱衷網際網路。當我還是麻薩諸塞州威廉斯學院大四生時,我讀了一本未來學家Alvin Toffler撰寫的書,書名為《第三次浪潮》,其中談到網際網路的概念。當時沒人使用網路-確實,個人電腦尚未普及,全球資訊網還有十多年才會誕生,但數位革命的想法中確實有某些概念令我深受吸引。大學畢業後,我曾在幾家公司擔任基層工作,甚至受雇於必勝客研發新口味披薩,萬分不假。但我一直深受Alvin Toffler所謂的「電子化住宅」吸引,試著思考我該於何時及如何採取行動,成為我認為即將到來之革命的一份子。這種探索的慾望驅使我於1983年搬到維吉尼亞州。我加入一間小型新創公司,他們即將推出一款名為Gameline的產品,這是最初的網路互動服務之一。當Gameline上市時,所有人都認為將獲得空前的成功,結果卻以失敗收場。我入公司後不久,其中一位董事會成員看著慘澹的銷售數字說:「天哪,小偷都不會只偷這些錢!」Gameline的失敗讓我學習到第三個P-「毅力」的重要。

 

當Gameline苟延殘喘之際,大多數人-包括我父母-都建議我將創業的衝動與熱情置之一旁,回歸較正常的職業道路,但我堅持到底,因為我相信總有一天網路將改變世界。1985年,我決定創立一家公司,即後來的AOL(美國線上)。當時我26歲,當時只有3%人口使用網路,每週上網時間僅一小時。最初幾年,AOL歷經許多波折。它成長得相當緩慢,因此早期我們歷經數次令人痛苦的裁員。當我們於1992年股票上市-事實上我們是第一家上市的網路公司。營運將近十年後,我們的客戶還不到20萬,但我們堅持到底。人們對網路的興趣爆增。到了2000年,我們成了網路企業龍頭,擁有近一萬名員工及超過兩千萬客戶。

 

當我回顧AOL崛起之路,我將它的成功歸因於3個P:人、熱情和毅力。創業初期的AOL員工十分傑出,對開拓新媒介興奮不已,對工作充滿熱情、不眠不休地努力,樂於成為這個致力於改變世界之團隊的一員。我們付出的熱情令人嘆為觀止,且充滿感染力。儘管大多數人認為我們瘋狂至極,堅信消費者不可能使用網際網路。我們不畏艱辛地向前邁進,不斷宣揚電子郵件、電子商務、即時通訊和其他服務的無限可能性,伴隨我們度過那段艱辛歲月的正是毅力。當外來因素打擊我們的希望,當周遭充滿反對聲浪-通常包括我們的朋友和家人-力勸我們就此罷手,追尋更安穩的職業生涯。但我們如手足般的團隊相信彼此,相信網際網路的可能性,相信我們擁有突破任何阻礙的能力。

 

自從十幾年前離開AOL後,我獲得投資並協助建立十幾家新公司的機會。同樣的3P引領我們創立各種類型的新創公司,從Zipcar到Living Social,這些原則也適用於我們的非營利事業:藉由凱斯基金會,資助能改變世界的人和想法。

 

在我看來,過去25年的成果見證了第一次網路革命的完成,使個人和企業都使用網路,現在我們即將展開第二次網路革命。之前我們著重於基礎工作:宣揚網路的益處、使人們彼此相繫。現在我們已彼此相繫,幾乎無時無刻,因此我們可轉移關注的目標。第二次網路革命將是利用網路改善教育方式、提供醫療保健、能源管理、整頓交通、改善政府服務及重塑製造業。第二次網路革命甚至比第一次重要,因為這將改善我們的生活,使經濟更加繁榮。

 

但我可以確定一件事:每個領域的領導者都將致力於維持現狀。我由這些年來的經歷得知,世上分為攻擊者和防禦者。攻擊者是擁有大膽、創新思維的人,他們致力於打破現狀,開創更美好的道路。防禦者是試圖捍衛既有資源、維持現狀的掌權者。我們必須擁有攻擊者心態,無論我們選擇做什麼。我們必須跳脫框架、保持好奇,並願意承擔風險。

 

這並非易事,如愛迪生所言:「未付諸實行的願景不過是幻想。」願景-或想法為何姑且不論,真正重要的是我們如何團結起來,將想法付諸行動。想法固然重要,但付諸實行更加重要。因此為了幫助你們,當你準備將想法付諸實行時,我希望你們記得這三項關鍵要素-3P。時時評估自己的人生和選擇,確保自己與最佳團隊合作或為其效力;確保自己無論選擇何種道路,都滿懷熱情地前進;確保自己擁有在艱苦時期堅持到底的毅力,這樣才能安然度過種種困境。

 

具體來說,身為全國頂尖學府之一的畢業生,你有機會造成遠勝於個人事業成就的影響,你有機會回饋這個讓一切成為可能的國家。因此我想利用最後幾分鐘時間,談談我們來自何方、我們將前往何方、以及你們該如何幫助我們抵達目的地。

 

身為世上最強大的國家,美國是世界各國羨慕的對象。這並非偶然,這是前人冒著極大風險、克服逆境所得的成果。但譜寫美國歷史的不僅是創建國家的愛國者,也包括建設經濟的創業家。憑藉著毅力、努力和創造力,創業家不僅建立公司,也建立了全新的產業。這些產業的成功-首先是農業革命,然後是工業革命及近期的資訊革命,導致新城市的開發及蓬勃發展,形成世上最具活力、創造力及創業精神的文化。美國持續成長茁壯,光是過去三十年,新創企業就創造了四千萬個就業機會,幾乎相當於那段期間所有淨增職位。

 

但我想與你們分享一個重要訊息,2013年畢業生。身為一個國家,我們不能固步自封。現在其他國家已意識到創業精神是壯大經濟的秘密武器,他們正致力於複製這個模式。如果我們想保持領先地位,就必須加倍重視創業精神。無論你打算成為企業家、老師,或科學家、醫生、作家、民選公職人員、非營利機構領導者,或從事任何職業,重要的是必須記住,強大的社會需藉由強大的經濟支撐,強大的經濟需要新創企業持續加入。優良的學校、可靠的醫院和安全的社區都需要成功企業的支持。為了說明這一點,我們以底特律為例。

 

五十年前,底特律相當於現在的矽谷。它是全國-也可說全世界-最活躍的創業中心,因為它處於運輸革命的樞紐。但隨後底特律迷失了方向。世上其他地區的汽車產業以更快的速度創新,美國汽車公司開始失去市場佔有率,市場的衰退導致底特律的衰落。事實上底特律人口已減少50%以上-50%!在過去50年當中。現在底特律正試著東山再起-我最近去過那裡,我相信他們做得到-但過程必定十分艱辛。我們不能讓美國重蹈底特律的覆轍,我們必須使美國更多地區採用三角研究園區模式。

 

五十年前,人們對北卡羅萊納的認知是:一個過度依賴農業的地區。為了使當地經濟多樣化,為了運用UNC和鄰近大學的龐大資源,三角研究園區就此誕生,許多傑出的新創公司亦入駐此地。當地經濟已大幅改善,全仰賴半世紀前這個地區的領導者大膽進行改革。北卡羅萊納並未逃避問題,而是面對問題,並藉此創造新的機會。底特律及三角研究園區提供的教訓十分明確:社會興衰取決於創新能力。這個概念不僅適用於城市,也適用於國家。這就是為什麼所有關心國家的人都應加倍努力,確保我們保持領先地位,創造令世界各國羨慕的新創公司和產業。我們不能自滿,我們必須採取攻勢,我們必須持續進攻。

 

我想和大家分享一些來自華盛頓特區的消息,或許會令你驚訝不已。人們總是批評華盛頓當局如何腐敗、如何一事無成。好,我很高興向大家報告,一年前,民主黨與共和黨攜手合作,通過一條支持創業精神的法案,名為JOBS act(快速啟動新創產業法案),旨在幫助新創產業的發展。此刻,就在我演講的當下,國會正進行關於移民改革方案的討論,其中的關鍵在於兩黨再次攜手合作,通過這條將使美國贏得全球人才爭奪戰的法案,使我們保有世上最具創業精神國家的優勢。我知道這對在座許多畢業生來說屬於個人生涯規劃。你們當中有許多人來自其他國家,我們希望鼓勵你們留下,並簡化相關程序,使你們得以協助推動我們的經濟發展。我們知道很多人願意這麼做,我們也知道這是國家需要做的事。

 

事實上,美國500強企業中,40%以上由移民或其後代所創立。就在最近,一位土耳其移民Hamdi Ulukaya在紐約上州創立一家優格公司。如今,Chobani優格創造出十億美元的銷售額,雇用了1,500名美國工人,並將事業版圖擴展到整個國家。從美國鋼鐵公司到Google到Chobani,移民創新者在美國的成功,顯示完善移民政策不僅是我們需要解決的問題,也是我們必須把握的機會。藉由這種做法,我們就能協助開創美國創業精神的黃金時代。值得一提的是,數百年前,美國本身也是新創國家。當時美國只是一個理念,這個理念在人、熱情和毅力的驅動下,引領我們打造出一個強大而穩定的民主國家,建立起世上最大、最富創新精神的經濟體。我們國家的旅程尚未結束,最輝煌的時代仍在前方。現在接力棒已傳遞給新的一代-也就是你們。我們仰賴你們每一位-2013年畢業生-幫助我們向前邁進,幫助我們為這個新創國家譜寫下一個篇章。

 

演講結束前,我想請大家起立-體育場中的每位來賓,不只是畢業生,家長、朋友-所有人請起立。謝謝。鑒於我大半輩子都致力於鼓勵人們使用網路,以Twitter分享這個重要時刻做為演講的結束再恰當不過了。因此我要替大家拍照,然後在Twitter分享,標記為#UNC 2013。請大家揮手,我想我應該使用全景模式。好,可以坐下了。大功告成,只需上傳即可。

 

好,準備好了嗎?我發佈在Twitter上,我希望大家盡量轉貼:#UNC 2013,讓所有在杜克大學的朋友知道UNC已接管這個世界。

 

謝謝,恭喜!給自己一個掌聲、給父母一個掌聲、給母親一個掌聲。

 

祝好運,當你開啟下階段人生篇章時。(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

America Online co-founder and Revolution CEO Steve Case delivers the 2013 spring commencement address at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nearly 35-thousand people made their way to Kenan Stadium to celebrate with more than 6,000 degree recipients.
 
About  Steve Case
Stephen McConnell "Steve" Case (born August 21, 1958) is an American businessman best known as the former chief executive officer and chairman of America Online (AOL). Since his retirement as chairman of AOL Time Warner in 2003, he has gone on to build a variety of new businesses through his investment company Revolution. In addition, he serves as chair of the Case Foundation run by his wife Jean Case.
 
About the transcript
Good morning!
 
It’s great to be back in Chapel Hill!  
 
I’ve had the honor of visiting the area a half dozen times over the past couple years, joining President Obama and his Jobs Council to outline public policy initiatives, and meeting on multiple occasions with inspiring, young entrepreneurs in the Research Triangle.  
 
And more importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time on the amazing UNC campus – guest lecturing at Chancellor Thorp’s Econ 125 class on entrepreneurship, and taking in a game at the Dean Dome.
 
I started many of my mornings in Chapel Hill the way I  suspect some of you do: by going through the drive through at Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. Those biscuits may not be the healthiest way to start the day, but they sure are tasty!
 
Before I begin, I want to say a word of thanks to my friend Holden Thorp. After spending most of his career at UNC, and living most of his life here in North Carolina, Chancellor Thorp is, as you know, moving on to a new adventure. 
 
So please join me in giving a Tar Heel cheer to the chancellor for his outstanding service to your university and to our country.   
 
And before we start the cheer, I want you to know that duke is also having their commencement this morning… so let’s be loud, and make sure they hear us in Durham.
 
Ready?
 
(Tar Heel! / Tar Heel! / Tar Heel!)
 
It is an honor to be with you. I’d like to congratulate each of you on this exciting day – and also congratulate your parents and all those who have sacrificed to help get you to this point. They are no doubt proud this morning to be celebrating your achievement.
 
Frankly, graduation day can be tough for parents. More than you might imagine, it is a time of transition and change for them as well. They woke up this morning as your parents – but they’ll go to bed tonight more as your peers.
 
And I suspect today may also be a little bittersweet for some of you. 
 
You’re delighted to have completed the requirements to graduate, proud to be receiving your degrees, and excited to be embarking on the next chapter in your lives.
 
But at the same time, you may be a little nervous. You have your diploma, but you aren’t quite sure what the future holds.
 
A half century ago, most graduates committed to a job and a career path, and stayed on that track for their whole lives.
 
Things are different today. Most of you will not only have multiple jobs – you likely will have multiple careers.
 
So the key is to keep learning. Be curious. Be open. Be flexible. Let your life unfold as a series of chapters. Don’t be so fixated on a specific ending that you neglect to open the door when opportunity knocks.
 
But no matter what you end up doing, no matter what path you choose to follow, there are a few things that i hope you’ll remember when you walk out of Kenan Stadium today.
 
Specifically, 3 things – just 3 - what i like to call the 3 Ps. They are: People, Passion and Perseverance.
 
I have found they are the keys to success in whatever you choose to do. So I wanted to share them with you this morning.
 
The first of the P’s is people.
 
No matter what you do in life, your ability to succeed will be largely dependent on your ability to work with people. Indeed, it has often been said that what you do is less important than who you do it with – that the people you surround yourself with, whether a spouse, or friends, or co-workers, will ultimately be the principal determinant of the course your life will take.
 
So don’t just focus on the job descriptions, or the brand name of the organization you’re going to join – also focus on who you’ll be working for, and with.
 
You’ll soon learn that no matter how bright you might be, or how hard you’re willing to work, your ultimate success or failure will largely be determined by how you galvanize others to work with and for you.
 
There’s an old African proverb that I love. It says if you want to go quickly, go alone. But if you want to go far, you must go together.  
 
There’s a lot of wisdom in that. It may seem easier to go alone – just do it yourself – but you will maximize your impact if you go together – taking the time to assemble the right team and build the right relationships so you can go as far as possible.
 
So the first principle to focus on is people – and I’d urge you to check in with yourself from time to time in the years ahead, to be sure the people you’re surrounding yourself with can in fact lift you to achieve more then you could on your own.
 
The second P is passion.
 
There are a lot of things each of us is interested in, but few things that we are really passionate about.
 
I’d urge you to focus on the things that you are passionate about – that you get excited thinking about and talking about – as those are the opportunities you should organize your life around.
 
Frankly, I got lucky. I became passionate about the Internet more than 30 years ago, when i was a senior at Williams college in Massachusetts. I read a book by a futurist, Alvin Toffler, called the third wave, that talked about the idea of the Internet.   
 
At the time, nobody was online – indeed, the personal computer had not yet been popularized, and the World Wide Web was more than a decade away from being created.
 
But there was something in the idea of a digital revolution that really captivated me.
 
After graduating from college, I ended up in entry level jobs at a couple of companies. I even had a stint getting paid to invent new pizzas for pizza hut.   
 
But all the while I was obsessing about what Alvin Toffler had called the electronic cottage, trying to figure out when and how I could make a move to be part of what i saw as a coming revolution.
 
That search led me to move to Virginia in 1983. I joined a small startup company about to release a product called Gameline. 
 
Gameline was a game cartridge that included a telecommunications modem, and when you plugged it in, you could download games and other services. 
 
When Gameline was announced, everybody thought it would be a huge success. But it failed.  
 
Shortly after I arrived, one of the board members looked at the terrible sales figures and said: geez, you would have thought they would have shoplifted more than that!
 
The failure of Gameline taught me the importance of the third P, perseverance.
 
As Gameline struggled, most people – including my parents – suggested I put aside my entrepreneurial impulses and passion and get back onto a more normal career path.
 
But I stuck with it, as I believed that someday, somehow, the internet would change the world.
 
I decided to start the company that became AOL in 1985, when I was 26 years old. At the time, only 3% of people were online, and they were only online an hour a week. 
 
AOL had lots of ups and downs in our first few years. It was slow going, and as a result we went through several painful layoffs in those early days.  
 
When we went public in 1992 – we were actually the first Internet company to ever go public – we had less than 200,000 customers, after nearly a decade of being in business.
 
But we kept at it, interest in the Internet exploded, and by the year 2000 we were the leading internet company -- and one of the most valuable businesses in the world, with nearly 10,000 employees.
 
As I look back on AOL’s rise, I attribute much of its success to the 3 P’s: People, Passion, and Perseverance.
 
The people at AOL in those early days were phenomenal – excited to be pioneering a new medium, eager to come to work and work endless hours, and delighted to be part of a team that was hell-bent on changing the world.
 
The passion we all brought to bear was incredible, and infectious. Even though most people thought we were crazy and believed consumers would never use the Internet, we plowed ahead, constantly evangelizing the endless possibilities of email, ecommerce, instant messaging, and other services.
 
And it was perseverance that saw us through those difficult days – the times when our hopes were dimmed by external events – when the naysayers around us – including often our friends and families – were urging us to give it up, and pursue a safer career path.
 
But our band of brothers and sisters believed – in each other, in the possibilities of the Internet, and in our ability to break through any impediment that stood in our way.
 
Since leaving AOL more than a decade ago, I’ve had the opportunity to invest in and help build more than a dozen new companies.  
 
The same 3 P's have helped guide our efforts with a diverse mix of startups ranging from Zipcar to Living Social. 
 
And the principles have also applied to our non-profit work through the Case Foundation, where we also invest in people and ideas that can change the world.
 
As I see it, the last 25 years witnessed the completion of the first Internet revolution – which was about getting people and businesses online.
 
Now we’re about to usher in the second Internet revolution.   
 
Before, we were focused on the basics: evangelizing the benefits of the Internet, and getting people connected. 
 
Now that we’re all connected, almost all the time, our focus can shift.  
 
And the second Internet revolution is going to be about using the Internet to improve the way we deliver education, provide health care, manage energy, transform transportation, improve government services, and reinvent manufacturing.
 
This second Internet revolution will be even more important than the first, as it will improve our lives, and power our economy.
 
But there’s one thing I know for sure: the leaders in each of these sectors will be focused on protecting the status quo.  
 
I’ve learned over the years that the world is divided into attackers, and defenders.  
 
The attackers are the people with bold, innovative ideas, who are trying to disrupt the status quo, and usher in a better way.  
 
The defenders are the incumbents that try to defend what they have, and maintain the status quo.
 
We need to bring an attacker mindset to whatever we choose to do. We need to think out of the box, and be curious, be innovative and be willing to take risks.  
 
It won’t be easy. As Thomas Edison once said, “vision without execution is hallucination.” The vision – the idea – is one thing. What really matters is how we rally together to bring the idea to life.  Inspiration matters, but execution matters more.
 
So to help you as you aim to execute on your ideas, I hope you’ll remember those key attributes – the 3 P’s – and constantly reassess your own lives – and your own choices – to be sure you’re working with and for the best possible team of people, you’re rabidly passionate about whatever path you choose, and you have the perseverance to stick with it through the tough times, so you can be there when things finally break through.
 
And to be clear, as graduates of one of the nation’s finest schools, you have the chance to make an impact that extends beyond just succeeding in your own careers.
 
You have an opportunity to give back to the country that made it all possible. 
 
So I want to spend my last few minutes talking about where we’ve come from, where we’re going, and how you can help us get there.
 
The United States is envied around the world as the most powerful nation on earth. 
 
This didn’t happen by accident. 
 
It was the work of pioneers who took great risks in the face of adversity.
 
But the story of America is not just about the patriots who built the country, it’s also about the entrepreneurs who built the economy.
 
Through grit, hard work, and creativity, entrepreneurs built not just companies, but entire new industries.  
 
The success of those industries – first in the agricultural revolution, then in the industrial revolution, and more recently in the information revolution, led to the development of new cities, that started flourishing.  
 
And it led to the creation of the most vibrant, innovative, and entrepreneurial culture in the world. 
 
And America’s momentum continues.   In the last three decades alone, new startup companies created 40 million jobs – nearly all the net jobs created during that period.
 
But here’s my key message to you, the class of 2013: as a nation, we can’t rest on our laurels. Other countries now realize that entrepreneurship is the secret sauce that has powered our economy, and they are working hard to replicate it. We need to double down on entrepreneurship if we are going to maintain our lead.  
 
Whether you plan to be an entrepreneur or a teacher, scientist, doctor, writer, elected official, non-profit leader, or anything else – it is important to remember that strong communities are sustained by strong economies, and strong economies require a constant influx of startup businesses.   
 
Good schools, dependable hospitals, and safe neighborhoods are supported by successful companies. 
 
To make the point, let’s look at Detroit.  
 
Fifty years ago, Detroit was Silicon Valley. It was the most vibrant entrepreneurial hub in the country – arguably in the world – as it was at the epicenter of the transportation revolution.
 
But then Detroit lost its way. Car companies from other parts of the world innovated more rapidly, and American car companies began to lose market share. Their decline then led to the decline of Detroit. 
 
Indeed, Detroit has lost more than 50% of its population – 50%! – over the past 50 years. Detroit is now trying to fight its way back - and i was there recently, and believe they can - but it will admittedly be hard.
 
We can’t let the story of Detroit become the story of America.  
 
We need more America regions to instead adopt the research triangle model.  
 
Fifty years ago here in North Carolina there was a recognition that the region was too reliant on agriculture.  
 
To diversify its economy, and to build on the great strengths of UNC and other neighboring universities, the research triangle was created, and many great startups have been formed here.  
 
The economy here is doing a lot better than it would have if the leaders of this community hadn’t been so bold about reinventing itself a half century ago. 
 
North Carolina didn’t run from the problem, it ran to the problem, and in so doing created new opportunities.  
 
The lesson of Detroit – and of the research triangle – is clear: our communities rise and fall based on how innovative they can be. 
 
And that’s true not just for cities, but also for countries.  
 
That’s why all of us who care about this country need to redouble our efforts to ensure we remain the startup nation, creating new companies and industries that can be the envy of the world. 
 
We can’t get complacent.  
 
We need to stay on offense. 
 
We need to stay on the attack.
 
And, coming from Washington DC, I have some news to share that you might find surprising. 
 
Everybody talks about how broken Washington is, and how nothing gets done.  
 
Well, I’m pleased to report that a year ago Democrats and Republicans came together and passed a pro-entrepreneurship bill called the JOBS act, to help startups create jobs, grow, and innovate. 
 
Now, as we speak, congress is debating immigration reform. It is critical that they come together again, and pass bipartisan legislation that will enable the United States to win the global battle for talent, so we can remain the world’s most entrepreneurial nation.   
 
And I know this is personal for many of you graduating today. Many of you are from other countries. We want to encourage you to stay, and make it easy for you to stay, so you can help drive our economy forward. 
 
We know that’s what many of you want to do, and we also know that’s what we as a country need to do. 
 
The fact of the matter is more than 40% of fortune 500 companies in the U.S. were started by immigrants or their children. 
 
Just recently, an immigrant from turkey, Hamdi Ulukaya, launched a yogurt startup in upstate New York. Today, Chobani yogurt generates $1 billion in sales, has hired 1,500 American workers, and is expanding operations across the country. 
 
From us steel to Google to Chobani, the successes of immigrant innovators in America shows that fixing our immigration system is not just a problem we need to solve, it is an opportunity we need to seize. By doing so, we can help unleash a new, golden era of American entrepreneurship.
 
And it’s worth reminding ourselves that the united states was itself a startup just a couple hundred years ago. 
 
Back then, America was just an idea.   That idea – powered by people, passion and perseverance – led us to forge a strong and stable democracy, and to build the largest and most innovative economy in the world. 
 
Our journey as a nation is not over. Our best days lie ahead. The baton is now being passed to a new generation – to you. 
 
We are counting on all of you - the class of  2013 - to help move us forward, and help us write the next chapter in the story of our startup nation.    
 
Thank you for inviting me to speak today.   
 
It has been an honor, and a pleasure.   
 
And as I close, I’d like to ask all of you to stand up!
 
Yes – all of you – I need you to stand up!
 
Given that I spent most of my life trying to get people to use the Internet, it’s only fitting that I end by sharing this important event on Twitter.  
 
So I’m going to take a photo of you all … and then tweet it out to the world, using the hashtag #UNC!
 
Ready? Everybody wave!! You’re looking good. Thanks!
 
And now I’m tweeting it out – and I want you all to retweet it – so we get hashtag #UNC trending globally…
 
That way we can let our friends down the street at duke know that  UNC is taking over the world!

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