The India-born CEO said that the class of 2020 graduates would get a lot of advice said, “I know you’re getting a lot of advice today. So let me leave you with mine: Be open, be impatient, be hopeful.”
Pichai said that a lot of graduates would get frustrated at technology and get 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 that it’s the impatience that will create the progress the world needs. “You may be just as frustrated by my generation’s approach to climate change, or education. Be impatient. It will create the progress the world needs,” said Pichai.
The Alphabet and Google head said that the current generation 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.”
People, he said, over 100 years have overcome new challenges and have prevailed. “The long arc of history tells us we have every reason to be hopeful,” he further said.
He said, “the only thing that got me from here to there—other than luck—was a deep passion for technology and an open mind.” He urged the graduates to find the thing that excited them more than anything else in the world. “Not the thing your parents want you to do. Or the thing that all your friends are doing. Or that society expects of you,” was Pichai’s advice to the students.
He recalled how when he came to the US for the first time to attend Stanford University, his father spent his annual salary just on flight tickets. “It took me a while to realize that the internet would be the single best way to make technology accessible to more people. As soon as I did, I changed course and decided to pursue my dreams at Google,” he added.