Last night I had the honor of attending Babson College's 32nd Annual World Stage Event, where the College inducted Comcast's Brian Roberts and Ralph Roberts into its Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame alongside clothing designer Eileen Fisher.
Brian, Ralph and Eileen join nearly 100 honorees who have been inducted into the Academy since 1978, when it was established by Babson College to recognize and celebrate the leaders who shape our entrepreneurial planet. Brian, Ralph and Eileen are preceded by some of the greatest entrepreneurs of the last 30 years, including Ray Kroc (McDonalds), Fred W. Smith (FedEx) and Richard Branson (Virgin Group of Companies).
One of the highlights of the evening was the Babson students who took the stage to talk about their own entrepreneurial ideas and how Babson has helped them bring those ideas to life. As one student — who started his first company at 13 and now provides large-scale lighting solutions to companies around the world — said: "If Babson was a cartoon, you'd see a lot of light bulbs floating around."
In many ways, that is how I have always thought of Comcast. Comcast is a company built on entrepreneurship. Ralph Roberts didn't even know what cable was when he purchased a single community antenna TV system in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1963. Yet today, Comcast is the largest cable company in the country, and with the recent acquisition of NBCUniversal, is one of the world's leading media, entertainment and communications companies.
That same entrepreneurial spirit that Ralph founded the company with nearly 50 years ago continues to thrive throughout our company today and is embodied in the people who work at Comcast. There is no better example than Brian himself, who clearly inherited the entrepreneurial gene from his father.
Entrepreneurship is an essential part of the Comcast culture...and has been a driving factor in the Company's growth and success. It enables us to act quickly and to take advantage of major technology changes. It allows us to consistently deliver new and exciting products and services to our customers. And, it enables us to step outside our day to day operations and identify game-changing opportunities like our recent acquisition of NBCUniversal.
Comcast might be a Fortune 100 company, but in many ways the company still embodies so many characteristics you might see in a start-up. Entrepreneurship. Innovation. Creative thinking. At Comcast, "Dream Big" isn't just an ad slogan. It's a way of life.
Working for a company that is constantly changing and innovating — that's what makes me excited to come to work every day. You never know what will happen next.