BERKELEY, CAL. (SatireWire.com) — In a commencement speech few are likely to forget, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg today urged the University of California’s Class of 2011 to follow their dreams, unless they compete Facebook, in which case those dreams will die.
The transcript of Zuckerberg’s speech follows:
“Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s an honor to be here. With me. I would imagine.
So, Class of 2011, how many times this week have you been told to “follow your dreams?” Six times? A dozen? Your teachers, your parents, your advisors, they all tend to give advice like that. Probably you ignore it. Well, maybe I’m getting old, but I actually agree with them. You should follow your dreams. You should pursue your goals. You should give life to your ideas, wherever they lead. As trite as it sounds, I want you to truly believe that you can be anything you want to be and do anything — absolutely anything — you want to do. Unless, that is, it competes with me. Then you will fail.
Maybe that sounded awkward. I can’t tell about things like that. So let me explain it another way. When I look out at your young, smiling faces, I see a thousand beacons of hope for our future. I see a thousand torchbearers for the world of tomorrow. But mostly I see a thousand potential competitors who, if they get in my way, I swear to God I will screw so bad that when I’m done with them they will be looking up at Friendster.
OK, so that’s settled. Wait, ‘stay away’ is another way to put it. Stay away from anything Facebook is involved in, or thinking of getting involved in. Which is pretty much everything. You think you might go into photo sharing like Picasa? I’m already doing that. Video streaming like YouTube? Doing that too. The coupon/Grouon business? Nope. I’m there already. Pretty much. What about hardware? That would be safe. Except you’d be competing with me and the Open Compute Project I’ve set up. And if you go up against me you will be crushed, and your $200,000 educations will be wasted because my PR people will hunt you down and spread rumors about you and your malformed startups that will make your fathers cry and your mothers ill and your siblings shred your baby pictures and your friends slap your grandparents for having your parents for having you.
Possibly that seems cold. I don’t know. I can’t tell about things like that. But it gives you some idea of how it works. Here’s another. Just this morning one of you, a new graduate named Julia, came up to me and told me her idea for a new social-shopping application, one that links your smartphone’s GPS with a to-do list. Was it a good idea? Yes. Should she pursue it? No. Because it’s mine. I’ve already put it up as a new app. Just now. Should Julia do anything about it? Well she could, but…
Remember Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe from MySpace? Like Julia, they competed with me before I even competed with them. And do you know where they are now? In a basement in Sausalito. No, in a deep, dark, hole under a basement in Sausalito.
That’s not a metaphor. That’s where I keep them. Want to see their heads?
Kidding. I have not removed their heads. See, I really do have a great sense of humor. And I see some of you are laughing too. Don’t. I’m laughing now. Don’t laugh if I’m laughing. You’re competing with me. I thought I had explained that clearly. Even if you have a good laugh, stop now, because I will build a better, more robust, more vertically integrated laugh. And of course it will be socially networkable — a laugh that is “liked” everywhere and will run on all platforms and operating systems: iPhone, Android, Linux, Windows, whatever. Your laugh will be small and insignificant. On second thought, I’ll give you Blackberry’s OS. I’ll let you develop your laugh on that. Just to watch your pitiful laugh die more slowly.
Where was I? Oh right, your dreams. Follow them. For instance, you can go out and start your own company. If, that is, you come to me right away to explain how you want to ‘socialize’ your company and deeply integrate it with Facebook. Do not wait to do this. Otherwise I’ll think you’re competing. And your dreams will die. And I will dance on your grave and urinate on your headstone. Well not me. I don’t dance. But I will have people dance. I do urinate. As would be expected. I’ll also take pictures and video and have a Fan page for people who are fans of dancing on your grave and urinating on your headstone. And people will be able to instantly share these across networks and platforms and devices. And the people who do the sharing will mostly be Google people because they are, like, the worst.
And speaking of Google, I know a lot of people see Facebook and Google as the two contenders for the world of the future. Some of you may even have the dream of working for Google. That’s cool. In fact, you probably know that two of your classmates here today, Sanjay Venopal and Patricia Ward-Clearwater — both have accepted jobs at Google. But did you also know they’re sleeping together, even though Sanjay is married and Patricia has a boyfriend who bought a ring last week and was going to give it to her after the ceremony today? I found that on their Facebook pages. And it’s just the kind of deeply personal information Google wants to get its hands on and publicize to the world. Unlike Facebook, which would never do that.
In closing, I hope I have inspired you to follow your dreams today. Although apparently I haven’t inspired all of you. I’ve just been passed a note saying, “Please stop talking. My friend Terry is suicidal now.” That is nice of you, warning us of your friend’s potential suicide. But did you know I already do that with Facebook’s suicide alert system? It’s true. And if you try to help, I’ll think you’re competing with me. And I won’t trigger the alert system. And your friend Terry will die.
So, anyway, Class of 2011, remember: always follow your dreams. Oh, and post them on Facebook. Just to make sure I’m OK with them.
Thank you. I am not applauding at this time, so you can.”
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