7 inspiring TED talks every entrepreneur should watch

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I think most entrepreneurs should dedicate some time out of their week just to watch TED Talks. It might seem silly or a waste of time — after all, you are trying to build an empire here. That is why you should do it.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy and sometimes you need a little bit of inspiration to keep you going. These seven talks explore some of the reasons why entrepreneurs are needed in society and why entrepreneurial thinking is necessary. From pasta sauce to robots, these ideas are worth spreading.

Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce

An exploration into the food industry’s quest for the perfect spaghetti sauce brings author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell to the cusp of a much broader issue — understanding the nature of choice and happiness. In this talk, Gladwell uses the spaghetti sauce to illustrate these key factors and what true happiness means.

Rachel Botsman: The currency of the new economy is trust

The sharing economy is on the rise and there has been an explosion of collaborative consumption. Rachel Botsman’s talk covers an era of “web-powered sharing of cars, apartments, skills” and explores “the currency that makes systems like Airbnb and Taskrabbit work: trust, influence, and what she calls ‘reputation capital’.”

Botsman writes and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing through network technologies, and on how it will transform business, consumerism and the way we live. She is also the co-author of What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption.

Cameron Herold: Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs

If your child is bored in school, failing classes and at odds with his or her peers, chances are that this child might be an entrepreneur, says Cameron Herold. Herold, who has been an entrepreneur for most of his life, explores how to raise the next generation of entrepreneurs. He looks at parenting, education and how these would-be entrepreneurs can get prepared for their futures.

Ron Eglash: The fractals at the heart of African designs

Ron Eglash is an ethno-mathematician: he studies the way math and cultures intersect. He reckons that self organisation is the key to success — it is after all the key to Google’s success, and there is no better place to understand these principles and algorithms of self organisations than Africa.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: Women entrepreneurs, example not exception

Reporter Gayle Tzemach Lemmon argues that women are overlooked when it comes to access to finance for their business, only qualifying for micro loans. As she explains, women are in fact the key to economic development as they run all types of businesses — from home businesses to major factories.

Andrew McAfee: What will future jobs look like?

I like this talk because let’s face it, one day the computers will rise against their human masters. Economist Andrew McAfee reckons that in the future droids will probably take our jobs, the ones that we know now. In this talk, which gazes into a future far-ish away, he walks through what future jobs might look like, and the ways the next generation could be equipped for them.

Juliana Rotich: Meet BRCK, internet access built for Africa

When it comes to technology, Africa is becoming the gold rush destination. Juliana Rotich is the co-founder of Ushahidi, open-source software for collecting and mapping information — and of iHub, a tech space in Nairobi, Kenya. Rotich tells the story of BRCK, Africa’s hopeful saviour for its connectivity woes.

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