Larry Page’s University of Michigan Commencement Address

Clive Lobo

I took a moment to read Larry’s commencement speech primarily because I am interested in what he has to say, but also because I find these kinds of speeches to be very inspiring.

Larry’s speech is no exception. It may not be a power house of motivational tips but it was very personal and covers his one experiences.

Of particular interest to me was his description of how he came up with the idea which later became Google:

You know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night with a vivid dream? And you know how, if you don’t have a pencil and pad by the bed to write it down, it will be completely gone the next morning?

Well, I had one of those dreams when I was 23. When I suddenly woke up, I was thinking: what if we could download the whole web, and just keep the links and… I grabbed a pen and started writing! Sometimes it is important to wake up and stop dreaming. I spent the middle of that night scribbling out the details and convincing myself it would work. Soon after, I told my advisor, Terry Winograd, it would take a couple of weeks to download the web — he nodded knowingly, fully aware it would take much longer but wise enough to not tell me. The optimism of youth is often underrated! Amazingly, I had no thought of building a search engine. The idea wasn’t even on the radar. But, much later we happened upon a better way of ranking webpages to make a really great search engine, and Google was born. When a really great dream shows up, grab it!

I’ve had my own share of dreams which were either new business opportunities or solutions to problems I’m facing. I guess it’s the lack of other stimulus that lets my mind think clearly, focusing on just the one issue which allows me to come to a solution.

I think you should take a moment and read Larry’s speech. You just might find something inspiring i there for yourself!

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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