TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. These talks can be useful to people from all walks of life, and it’s almost as if there’s a TED talk already existing for almost every related topic one can think of. If you’re an entrepreneur, there are quite a few TED talks you could benefit from. We’ve short listed it to 7. These are 7 must watch TED talks for entrepreneurs (with links).
1) Maya Penn: Meet a young entrepreneur, cartoonist, designer, activist
Every once in a while you’ll come across an entrepreneur who possesses both business savvy and brilliant artistic and expressive range. Maya Penn has those qualities, and in abundance, choosing an entrepreneurial career to enable herself to explore all of her interests and share those skills with the world. In this talk, she describes how she helps her customers and the global community while staying true to her artistic calling.
2) Navi Radjou: Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits.
This TED talk by Navi Radjou is all about clever but minimalistic applications in the field of problem-solving. As one can understand, problem-solving applies to almost everything, since it’s necessary for innovation, scientific discovery and even social constructs. Radjou speaks of the demands and advantages of immense limitation when it comes to problem-solving. For the entrepreneur, this means working only with limited capital, resources and time. The constraints are high, so it seem difficult, but it actually drives greater degrees of innovation. This talk is perfect for when you feel like you’re up against the wall with almost nothing to work with.
3) Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
This TED talk by Simon Sinek explores the idea of leadership and why some people are better at inspiring action than others. It starts with examples from Martin Luther King’s leadership in the Civil Rights Movement to Apple’s leadership in the business world, Sinek examines the patterns that seemingly predict the success rates of various leaders. One line in the Talk speaks particularly strongly to entrepreneurs: “People don’t buy what you do. People buy why you do it.” For entrepreneurs trying to become industry leaders in their own right, fundamentally understanding this principle is a necessity. Watch this TED talk for a more thorough exploration of this idea, with real examples.
4) Nirmalya Kumar: India’s invisible innovation
We often overlook the wonderful and universal nature of entrepreneurship and innovation. Nirmalya Kumar embodies the deep connection between these two qualities. In this talk, Kumar discusses the true potential of India as a center for innovation and presents his ideas about a “four set” invisible innovation that exists in India. The shift he describes from manufacturing jobs to management positions is based on his developmental model of entrepreneurship.
5) Bill Gross – The single biggest reason why startups succeed
Bill Gross attempts in this TED talk to speak of all the reasons why any startup might be more successful than another. As a serial entrepreneur and a mentor for other startups, Gross has had much experience in the business world. He’s seen big businesses fail and questionable businesses somehow succeed, and this experience drove him to quantify exactly why these formulas exist. Gross measures each startup in terms of the strength of the idea, the timing of the company launch, the team leading the business, access to capital and the overall business model. What he found was that one factor led to success more than any other — and that’s timing. It’s a must watch for any start up owner.
6) Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend
There’s no question that launching a business means you’ll experience stress, and most likely lots of it. Juggling everything from marketing to administration to financing your business is stressful, and you may find that the more stressed you become, the more you seem to worry about stress itself. (And if you’re not worried about it, your family members probably are. Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal offers a fresh take on stress and how to use it to your advantage. This popular TED Talk is not really focused on how to reduce stress, which would have been a relief to many of us who know it as being unavoidable, but McGonigal does offer a tangible stress-reduction tool you can use when it feels like you’re reaching your limit.
7) Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity
This TED talk by Linda Hill is perfect for entrepreneurs who want to amplify the creative potential of their top teams. Exploring different tactics as they are used by some of the world’s most respected and most created companies, Hill examines the root causes of creative greatness. Ultimately, she comes up with a simple set of tools and strategies that any entrepreneur can use to fuel the generation of great new ideas from the entire team, and keep pressing the company to move forward. Creative thinking and abstract problem-solving are some of the most important features of any company, and Hill explains the best way to incorporate these into your culture.
If you’re an entrepreneur, or an aspiring entrepreneur, and you haven’t seen the above 7 TED talks, do so at the earliest. Watch how your thinking changes as you receive new ideas about how the world and your own self works. These kind of talks are always inspiring and having access to TED talks is a heaven sent for those looking for new ideas.