Costolo’s Awesome Commencement Speech

“We must be willing to let go of the life that we’ve planned so as to embrace the life that is awaiting us.”
— Joseph Campbell

I am a commencement speech junkie. Dick Costolo’s most recent one is in the top 5…funny, inspirational and spot on about life. I first met Dick 16 years ago just after he had launched his first company. We came close to investing in his second, Spyonit, just as it was being acquired and ended up seeding his third, FeedBurner (acquired by Google) before he headed to Twitter. When he and his 3 co-founders spun out of Accenture, they were indifferentiable from any other young group of entrepreneurs. It is amazing how life/Universe/God/whatever you call it has a way of helping those who take intelligent risks and make courageous choices to “follow their bliss”. Life is linear when you look back and completely non-linear/opaque when you gaze forward. As Dick says, “There is no script. Live your life.”  Take the time to watch this video and then think about ways in which you can make more courageous choices in your life & make “unreasonable requests” (a favorite phrase of Dick’s and Jack Dorsey’s) of your life and of the world around you.  Break out of having lives of quiet despiration and embrace the future that awaits you.  While it may seem riskier now, in the long run, it is much riskier not to…

Some great quotes pulled from the video by the ever brilliant, Bill Gross (don’t know when you sleep!)

  • “You need to make more courageous choices. Take courageous risks.”
  • “You can’t plan a script. BE in THIS moment.”
  • “When I was your age, we didn’t have the Internet in our pants. We didn’t even have the Internet NOT in our pants!”
  • “When I was your age, we didn’t have teeth. There were no question marks, we just had words!”
  • “Not only can you not plan the impact you are going to have, you often won’t recognize it even while you are having it.”
  • “The impact is what others frame for you and the world, AFTER it happens. The present is ONLY what you are experiencing and focused on right now.”
  • “You cannot draw ANY of of yours looking forward, so you have to figure out what you love to do, what you have conviction about, and go do that.”
  • “When you are doing what you love to do, you become resilient.”
    “If you do what you think is expected of you, or what you are supposed to do, you will look to external sources for what to do next. You will be standing there frozen on the ‘stage’ of your life.”
  • “Believe that if you make courageous choices, and bet on yourself, then you will have an impact.”
  • “Don’t always worry about what your next line is supposed to be. There is no script. Live your life. Be in this moment.”