Mark Zuckerberg To Belle Haven 8th Graders: "There's No Shortcuts"

During what is panning out to be community service week for big-time tech CEOs, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took the stage yesterday in order to inspire the graduating eighth graders at Belle Haven Community School in Menlo Park, CA.

Impetus behind the speech: Facebook is moving its headquarters to Menlo Park, so Zuck (Mr. Z or Mr. Mark Zuckerman according the Belle Haven principal) was just being neighborly.

“I don’t remember much about my middle school graduation,” Zuckerberg said, relating a story about a memorable middle school teacher he had that looked like a pirate “When you look back on your middle school graduation, you probably won’t remember that much either. But I hope you have fun.”

Zuck continues, pontificating on the theme, “Eliminating the words ‘I can’t,” basically giving the eighth grade version of Steve Jobs’ Stanford “Do What You Love” speech, emphasizing the following three points:

  • There are no shortcuts to success— “A lot of building a company or a product like Facebook is just about determination and believing that you can,” Zuckerberg said. “Everything that’s worth doing is actually pretty hard.”
  • Great relationships are the most important thing —  Focus on building great things with people that you love, “No one ever does anything alone.” “Great friendships make life fun and meaningful.”
  • Do what you love — If you love what you do you’ll power through adversity, “It’s a lot easier to focus on challenges that you actually really enjoy doing.”

The Facebook CEO captured what it takes to change the world as eloquently as he could, “It’s not about a single moment of inspiration or brilliance, it’s years and years of practice and hard work … Anything that’s really awesome takes a lot of work.”

And yes, it is more than a little ironic that his “There’s No Shortcuts” statement is essentially a shortcut of grammar and that that specific sentiment is being relayed by the world’s youngest billionaire (oh and this).  But hey, did you build Facebook?