California, during my California Springs and summers I spent most of my days in the High Sierras in Yosemite Valley, working as a river guide and a rock climbing instructor, I loved did those jobs, but unfortunately they didn’t pay that well.
So I also got a job working a couple of days a week as a computer programmer back in Berkeley. I had learned a program in college. I didn’t, love programming, but was fun and I was good at it, and computer programming gave me the same kind of satisfaction, the solving math problems and playing chess.
Both things I enjoyed before I became a confused teenager [, Music ]. At this point in my life I thought I was making real progress on my journey of self-discovery. I had found a cause. I had a couple of jobs that I loved and one that was fun and paid the bills.
I was pretty happy with my life. My wife was not what she saw was a college dropout who spent too much time in the mountains doing foolish things. She wanted me to work full-time as a computer programmer or go back to college and finish my degree.
I started taking classes at UC Berkeley. I took several classes, but the only one I can remember was a sailing class taught at Berkeley marina. Once again, I fell in love and began a lifelong affair with the limitless omnipotent Pacific Ocean.
When my class was over. I wanted to buy a sailboat. My wife said this was the single stupidest idea she had ever heard in her entire life. She accused me of being irresponsible and she told me I lacked ambition.
She kicked me out and then she divorced me. This is a pivotal moment in my life, but this time I was not disappointed in myself. Their dreams and my dreams were different. I would never confuse the two of them again.
I searched and I searched, but I just could not find a software engineering job that I loved as much as I loved sailing. So I tried to create one. I put together a plan to start my own company. That way I could completely control my work environment.
My goal was to create the perfect job for me, a job I truly loved hired the most talented software engineers in Silicon Valley. We assembled an all-star team of gifted programmers who were among the best in the world at what they did, that team, plus one crazy idea, gave birth to a giant company.
I call it a crazy idea because at the time everyone told me it was a crazy idea and when you start telling people, but all the experts are wrong at first, they call you arrogant and then they say you’re crazy.
When people start telling you that you’re crazy, you just might be on to the most important innovation in your life. The idea was to build the world’s first relational database and IBM was building a prototype in their research labs, but back then the collective wisdom of computer experts, while relational databases could be built, they would never be fast enough to be useful.
This is one of those times when the experts were wrong. Arrogance and insanity turned out to be innovation in disguise, as the Information Age moved from dawn to the full light of day. Technology horizons were constantly shifting, revealing a brave and exciting world of new possibilities and new opportunities Oracle doubled in size year after year after year.
For 10 years I had set out to create the perfect programming job from me. Instead, I created a job where I had to stop programming altogether, I attempted to create an environment that I could completely control.
Instead, I was running a company with thousands and thousands of people that was growing so fast that it was impossible for anyone control in a constantly changing world. What is possible is a moving target.
Don’t, be afraid to experiment and try lots of different things and don’t. Let the experts discourage you when you challenge the status quo. Each of you has a chance to discover who you are rather than who you should be a chance to live your dreams, not the dreams of others.
Each of you has an obligation to commit to a righteous cause, one that elevates you and improves the conditions of humanity and the planet until you find a job that ignites your passions like, I did even better.
You just might find one that you love [, Music, ], you