From Career Ladder to Jungle Gym: Reid Hoffman's Commencement Address at Babson College

5/25/12Follow @wroush

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make their own contribution. Consider if we had the online equivalent of driver’s licenses – how many more services entrepreneurs could build online. And these are just two specific examples.

Entrepreneurs are leaders. They lead in creating new products and companies, by crossing into the ground of the unknown. As the world changes, everyone will need these skills for their individual lives. But, now it means even more: we need entrepreneurial leadership in the evolving the platform of society that we share. So, entrepreneurs need to and can go further. We need to elaborate our entrepreneurial skills also to the evolution of society.

Here we are in a country with a great history of entrepreneurs. And here we are in an institution that focuses on these critical skills.

So what does this mean for you, graduating class of Babson 2012? As you go forth from this day, remember that you are leaders and pioneers. In creating new businesses, you are helping society evolve. In sharing what you know as entrepreneurs with others, you help them adapt to the modern world. Most of all, when you have the opportunity, remember to help rebuild our social platform – the framework where we all operate. Better platforms lead to much better entrepreneurial businesses.

Because if there’s one thing that entrepreneurs know, it is that an individual can change the world. And change the world at scale, when you engage your networks for magnified results.

Class of 2012: congratulations! You have just shipped your next product – you! – into the world. Now it’s time for your next play. Good luck.

 

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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