I can’t say enough about TED talks. The concept of taking a few minutes to explore personal, important stories that connect us and help us become better versions of ourselves is just a magnificent wonder. I’ve collected some of my favorite TED talks that promote ideas all entrepreneurs should consider.
TED Talks for Entrepreneurs
1. Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From
Author Steven Johnson challenges the common misconception that problem solving is based on some brilliant moment of inspiration. Rather, Johnson argues that it is hard work, preparation, and being connected to people with complementary skillsets that bring about solutions.
2. Reshma Saujani: Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection
This one’s not just for women, though it does emphasize the importance of inclusiveness for future success. Saujani connects a willingness to boldly take risks to the evolution she’d like to see in the future of computer science. Men and women alike can benefit from letting go of a fear of failure.
3. Tim Urban: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator
Not only is Urban a champion of long-form writing in a world of listicles, but he is also seriously funny. Urban urges viewers to take a more critical look at their procrastination tendencies in order to better prioritize their lives.
4. Dalia Mogahed: What Do You Think When You Look at Me?
As our workplaces become increasingly globalized, it’s important to be cognizant of how we respond to people who are different from us, whether that’s in skin color, culture, religion, or political leanings. Mogahed, a Muslim scholar, shines a light on the compelling reasons why empathy is a critical skill.
5. Bill Gross: The Single Biggest Reason Why Startups Succeed
We all know that new businesses face a ridiculously high failure rate. What Bill Gross has done is explore – in a masterful display of data analytics — what differentiates startup success from failure. It turns out there’s one surprising factor that correlates with success.
6. Malcolm Gladwell: The Unheard Story of David and Goliath
Few writers are better than Malcolm Gladwell at taking the familiar and turning it on its head in a way that challenges all our assumptions. Gladwell tackles the classic Bible story of the underdog who wins in spite of insurmountable odds and transforms it into a call to reimagine our understanding of power and its effects on our relationships.
7. Pamela Meyer: How to Spot a Liar
In addition to being flat-out fascinating, author Pamela Meyer’s exploration of the hundreds of lies we are told each day evolves into a compelling case for striving to become a more honest society. Ethical entrepreneurs will enjoy the pep talk while simultaneously picking up tips that will help detect deception.
We all have stories, and in fact storytelling is one of the powerful rituals that unites us, inspires us, and reminds us there’s more to life than the balance of our bank accounts. TED talks open our eyes and minds in ways entrepreneurs should embrace.
Oh — and here’s a bonus TEDx talk:
Mike Michalowicz: “Profit First” is better for entrepreneurs than “G.A.A.P.”
I would never put myself on the same level as the speakers above, but my talk explores a proven, practical strategy that can eliminate entrepreneurial poverty. Enjoy.