2015 commencement speech @USCViterbi – USC engineering


recently i had the honor of delivering the commencement speech to the students graduating from the usc viterbi school of engineering in 2015. this was a momentous day for the students – and the fact that it rained in southern california during their comments only made it that much more novel 🙂


complacency is the enemy of achievement – so get comfortable being uncomfortable

  • seek mentors to help you navigate through uncomfortable situations
    • in general, people want to help and pay it forward.
  • spend time with and talk with non-engineers. build understanding and empathy of others that are not like you
    • as a ceo of composite software, i built empathy around the challenges of sales and the importance of understanding the difference in a sales culture vs eng culture.
  • seek diverse perspectives – unlearn what you have learned
    • building a mobile operating system (webOS) is very different that rebuilding an online service like twitter
  • keep building regardless of your age or experience – once a builder – always a builder
    • i always have had a side project that i am building…

your biggest risk is pursuing a journey whereby you are too comfortable

thanks for listening!

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