If I get through this speech today, it would be the first time I actually finished something here at Harvard.
How many of you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you got that email telling you that you got into Harvard.
I was playing the video game, Civilization, and I ran downstairs and got my dad and for some reason, his first reaction was to video me opening the email.
That could have been a really really sad video!
But I swear, getting into Harvard is the thing my parents are most proud of me for.
I was running late for class, so I throw on a T-shirt.
And I didn't realize until afterwards that I put it on inside-out and backwards and my tag was sticking out in the front.
I couldn't figure out why no one in class would talk to me.
Except for this one guy, KX Jin, he just went with it.
We start doing our problem sets together and now he runs a big part of Facebook.
And that, class of 2017, is why you should be nice to people.
As luck would have it, Priscilla was at that party with her friends and we met in line for the bathroom in the phoho belltower.
And in what must be one of the all time most romantic lines I turned to her and said I'm getting kicked out in three days, so we need to go on a date quickly.
Actually, any of you graduating today can use that line.
But I'm not here to give you the standard commencement about finding your purpose.
We try to do that instinctively.
Instead, I'm here to tell you, that finding your purpose isn't enough.
The challenge for our generation is to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.
I remember that night I launched Facebook from that little dorm in Kirkland house.
I went to Noch's with my friend, KX.
And I remember telling him clearly that I was excited to help connect the Harvard community but one day someone would connect the whole world.
The thing is, it never even occurred to me that that someone might be us.
And I know that a lot of you are gonna have your own stories just like this.
A change in the world that seems so clear that you're sure someone else is going to do it.
But they're not.
A couple years in, some big companies wanted to buy us.
I didn't want to sell.
I wanted to see if we can connect more people.
Nearly everyone else wanted to sell.
Without a sense of higher purpose, this was their startup dream come true.
And it tore our company apart.
After one particularly tense argument, one of my close advisers told me if I didn't agree to sell the company right now, I would regret that decision for the rest of my life.
Relationships were so frayed that within a year or so, every single person on our management team was gone.
That was my hardest time leading Facebook.
Movies and pop culture just get this all wrong.
The idea of a single eureka moment is a dangerous lie.
It makes us feel inadequate, because we feel like we haven't had ours yet.
And it prevents people with seeds of good ideas from ever getting started in the first place.
Oh, and you know what else movies get wrong about innovation?
No one writes math formulas on glass.
That's not a thing. OK?
In our society, we often don't take on big things because we're so afraid of making mistakes that we ignore all the things wrong today if we do nothing.
The reality is, anything we do today, is going to have some issues in the future.
But that can't stop us from getting started.
An entrepreneurial culture thrives when it is easy to try lots of new ideas.
Facebook wasn't the first thing I built, I also built chat systems, and games, study tools, and music players, and I'm not alone.
J.K. Rowling got rejected 12 times before she finally wrote and published Harry Potter.
Even Beyonce had to make hundreds of songs to get Halo.
The greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.
We all know you don't get successful just by having a good idea or working hard.
We get successful by being lucky, too.
If I had to support my family growing up instead of having the time learning how to code;
If I didn't know that I was gonna be fine, if Facebook didn't work out, then I wouldn't be standing up here today.
And if we're honest, we all know how much luck we've had to get to this point in our lives.
The forces of freedom, openness, and global community against the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism, and nationalism.
Forces for the flow of knowledge, trade, and immigration against those who would slow them down.
This is not a battle of nations, this is a battle of ideas.
There are people in every country for more global connection and there are good people against it.
Even global change starts small with people like us.
In our generation, the struggle of whether we connect more, whether we achieve our greatest opportunities, comes down to this — your ability to built communities and create a world where every single person has a sense of purpose.