Here’s a fun one. We dug through TED‘s massive video archive and came up with seven talks by leading entrepreneurs that are bound to get you fired up, inspired and thinking.
The talks cover topics such as peer-to-peer entrepreneurship, the power of open data, the importance of reputation, flipping negative user experiences, connecting the dots to find opportunity in unfamiliar places, following hunches, and perfecting your pitch deck.
Let’s get started.
In this delightful four minute talk, Renny Gleeson uses 404 error pages to illustrate how unfavourable scenarios can be flipped around to become opportunities for positive customer engagement and viral marketing. “Little things done right, matter and well-designed moments build brands,” says Gleeson.
Startups like Carpooling, Etsy, Fiverr and TopCoder are creating communities of peer-to-peer entrepreneurs. Robin Chase, the founder of rental car service, Zipcar, talks about her second venture, Buzzcar — a type of Airbnb for cars — and how it, like other community-powered startups, are doing things big companies can’t.
Compellingly, she talks about how these startups often beget innovation — Buzzcar for example, forced the creation of a new type of car insurance for the automotive industry in which the startup operates.
We’ve argued that secrecy kills innovation. In this vein, John Wilbanks theorises that a pool of open medical data can lead to solving medical problems faster — it would however, require less privacy in the medical industry.
The talk gets you thinking more broadly about openness, sharing and what is possible when the walls of secrecy are broken down.
Rachel Botsman theorises that in the future, reputation will become our most valuable asset. In an age of collaborative consumption of accommodation, cars and skills through startups like Airbnb, Buzzcar and Taskrabbit, Botsman underlines the importance of trust, influence, and what she calls “reputation capital.”
In this talk, she comments on how technology is creating a market for things that never had a market before and how collaboration and sharing through network technologies will transform business, consumerism and the way we live. Technology is creating what Botsman calls “micro-preneurs” — people who become empowered to make and save money from their assets.
In this brilliant and witty short talk, entrepreneurial-minded engineer Myshkin Ingawale tells the story of how he ended up “democratising healthcare” by following and connecting the dots. Ingawale describes how — after 32 tries — he and his team at Biosense Technologies created a simple, portable, low-cost device called the ToucHB that can test for anemia without breaking the skin.
Anemia is a major — and completely preventable — cause of deaths in childbirth in many places around the world, but the standard test is invasive and slow.
Twitter co-founder, Evan Williams, talks about justifying doing a side project at a startup where focus is critical. Twitter was once a side project at Williams’s company Odeo, before it became the social networking juggernaut it is today.
Williams talks about following hunches even though it’s impossible to justify them and how many of the ideas that drive a product’s growth can come from unexpected uses invented by the users themselves, such as the re-tweet or hashtag.
What’s the most important thing when pitching to a VC? It’s you, says “The Pitch Coach” David S. Rose. Rose, an entrepreneur and investor, talks about ten things you need to know about yourself — and prove to a VC — before you fire up your slideshow.