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Bob’s Appearances

Florida State University Commencement Speech

Commencement speakers often tell new graduates some variation of “when you see a door of opportunity, charge through it.”

There’s just one problem: Those doors of opportunity don’t have neon signs on them, said Bob Rice, a Florida State University alumnus and a leading voice in the investment world who spoke Saturday, Dec. 14, at the university’s second of two fall commencement ceremonies.

“If they did, there would be a line around the block,” Rice said. “The thing that makes a door of opportunity a real door of opportunity is precisely that other people do not recognize it as such.”

The key to recognizing such opportunities, he explained, is to find ways to connect multiple circles of knowledge, overlapping them to make new discoveries.

He invoked the image of a Venn diagram.

“The idea is not to take a yellow circle and make it yellower and a blue circle and make it bluer,” he said. “The idea is to be the person who can be at the intersection of the Venn diagram who can create this new color — green. That’s where the real value gets created in the world.”