Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Form 2220 Preceding

Instructions and Help about Form 2220 Preceding

This program is brought to you by Stanford University please visit us at stanford.edu thank you I'm honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world truth be told I never graduated from college and this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation today I want to tell you three stories from my life that's it no big deal just three stories the first story is about connecting the dots I dropped out of Reed College after the first six months but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit so why did I drop out it started before I was born my biological mother was a young unwed graduate student and she decided to put me up for adoption she felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates so everything was all set for me to be adopted at Birth by a lawyer and his wife except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl so my parents who were on a waiting list got a call in the middle of the night asking we've got an unexpected baby boy do you want him they said of course my biological mother found out later that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school she refused to sign the final adoption papers she only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college this was the start in my life and 17 years later I did go to college but I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford and all of my working-class parents savings were being spent on my college tuition after six months I couldn't see the value in it I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out and here I was spending all the money my parents had saved their entire life so I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay it was pretty scary at the time but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made the minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting it wasn't all romantic I didn't have a dorm room so I slept on the floor in friends rooms I returned coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hari Krishna temple I loved it and much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on let me give you one example Reid college at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country throughout the campus every poster every label on every drawer was beautifully hand calligraphed because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations about what makes great typography great it was beautiful historical artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture and I found it fascinating none of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life but 10 years later when we were designing the first Macintosh computer it all came back to me and we designed it all into the Mac it was the first computer with beautiful typography if I had never dropped in on that single course in college the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts and since windows just copied the Mac it's likely that no personal computer have them if I had never dropped out I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college but it was very very clear looking backwards ten years later again you can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future you have to trust in something your gut destiny life karma whatever because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference my second story is about love and loss I was lucky I found what I loved to do early in life woz and I started Apple in my parent's garage when I was 20 we worked hard and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a two billion dollar company with over 4,000 employees we just released our finest creation the Macintosh a year earlier and I just turned 30 and then I got fired how can you get fired from a company you started well as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me and for the first year or so things went well but then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out when we did our Board of Directors sided with him and so at 30 I was out and very publicly out what had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone and it