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AN UNFORGETTABLE SPEECH

WHY

FAILURE WAS THE

SECRET TO MY

SUCCESS

D.J. PATIL M.A. ’99, PH.D. ’01, the data scientist-in-residence at venture capital firm Greylock Partners and a former Department of Defense fellow and team leader at LinkedIn, jokes below about forgettable commencement addresses. But his own speech to graduates of our College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences in May 2012 was so fabulous that Fast Company and Wired UK magazines posted abbreviated versions. We jumped at the first opportunity to do the same.

am truly honored to be here today, back at what I consider my home, this great university. As a Silicon Valley tech guy, I decided to use technology to help me prepare for this commencement address. So, I asked people on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Quora what wise words you should be imparted with. You know what most people remember from their graduation speakers? Nothing! Zilch! Nada! I realized, I can say anything I want! But seriously, as I got feedback from around the world, one theme emerged. I’d like to talk about something we rarely celebrate: failure.

PHOTO BY BROOKE NIPAR

Terp Magazine :: Spring 2013  
Terp Magazine :: Spring 2013