"I wish upon you ample doses of pain and suffering."

No Pain, No Gain

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang knows a thing or two about success. The gaming and AI chip maker he co-founded has soared to a ludicrous $2 trillion valuation under his leadership, while his personal net worth has topped $80 billion.

Now, in an interview with the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he generously wants the next generation of entrepreneurs to share in the same secret ingredient that defined his success (besides, perhaps, his signature leather jackets): a lot of "pain and suffering."

"I don't know how to do it [but] for all of you Stanford students, I wish upon you ample doses of pain and suffering," Huang said in the interview, as highlighted by Fortune. "Greatness comes from character and character isn't formed out of smart people — it's formed out of people who suffered."

Of course, one of the main sources of pain and suffering for young people these days is that AI is going to steal their jobs — a potential future that perhaps no corporation is doing more to support than Nvidia. So at least he's putting his money where his mouth is.

High Tolerance

Apparently, this is a platitude that Huang likes to repeat at Nvidia, too.

"To this day I use the phrase 'pain and suffering' inside our company with great glee," he said in the interview, per Fortune. "I mean that in a happy way because you want to refine the character of your company."

To him, what matters most is resilience rather than lofty ambitions, and you can't have that without — let's say it again — "pain and suffering." Everyone's due a reality check, after all.

"People with very high expectations have very low resilience — and unfortunately, resilience matters in success," Huang said. "One of my great advantages is that I have very low expectations."

Pain For Thee

As far as "pain and suffering" goes, taking it is an inevitable part of achieving success, sure — but you don't get to where Huang is without breaking a few eggs, either.

Nvidia currently enjoys an enormous monopoly over the AI chip market with its graphics processing units, and its alleged shady practices in maintaining that dominance spurred a raid of its office in France last year as part of an anti-trust investigation by the European Commission.

Beyond fueling the out-of-control generative AI craze, Nvidia's chips also fueled the ill-fated crypto boom. And not to put too fine a point on it, but we all know what good's come out of both of those technologies so far, like insane energy consumption.

So take heed, folks. Huang wants these young'uns to suffer out of the goodness of his heart. Or maybe he just has it out for Stanford grads.

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