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It’s What You Can Contribute

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It’s What You Can Contribute


5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To contribute your worth to the world, don’t follow your passion; follow your talent.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


College graduates accumulate plenty of advice – mostly irrelevant, trite platitudes – as they prepare to depart their alma maters. However, venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, a Columbia graduate, presents the Columbia Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science’s class of 2015 with life tips of a more unconventional nature. getAbstract believes his counsel will resonate with all today’s students, including scholars at the University of Life.


In 1984, Columbia University student Ben Horowitz realized he wanted to major in computer science. He was excited to share his epiphany with friends, but they mocked his choice, claiming that computer science was merely a trade and that he should study something more substantial. That experience taught Horowitz to ignore his friends and think for himself. This can be challenging, because humans instinctively want to be liked, and the easiest way to get others to like you is to echo their beliefs. But the only valuable ideas are those that nobody yet knows or believes. For example, if your business idea is to produce efficient cellphone batteries...

About the Speaker

Columbia University graduate Ben Horowitz co-founded venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

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