10 Brilliant TED videos for Entrepreneurs

TEDxBuenosAires 2011

Sometimes, when I’m rushed for time, I find going on the TED website overwhelming. There is a wealth of amazing videos, and choosing the perfect one for your 10 or 15 minute break can be tough. This is particularly true if you’re an entrepreneur; you need to maximise your time, dedicating it to TED videos that you truly need.

With that in mind, I’ve found 10 amazing TED videos that entrepreneurs should watch, organised by when/why you should watch them.

Here is the TED video to help you … 

Pitch effectively

David S. Rose: How to Pitch to a VC

David S. Rose has experience in both seeking investment and investing in others. In this video for TED U, he will tell you the 10 things you need to know about yourself before you start pitching to a VC. The most important lesson to take away? Make sure the VC knows that you are an entrepreneur with integrity and passion.

Reevaluate ownership

Robin Chase: Excuse me, may I rent your car?

Sometimes, coming up with a great startup idea isn’t about making a new product, it’s about utilising a product that already exists. In this case, Robin Chase discusses her two startups; one of which hired out cars, the other which helped other people to rent out their underused vehicles. 

Accept failures

Eddie Obeng: Smart Failure for a Fast Changing World

Failure is a necessity for progression. Eddie Obeng’s talk is fascinating; he discusses how we should be trying things that no one else ever has before, even if we fail, because failure is a signal we’re trying to make a difference.

Seek out conflict

Margaret Hefferman: Dare to Disagree

Hefferman has a wonderful way with words, and my favourite quote from this speech is that “Openness alone cannot drive change”.  She argues that conflict equals thinking; the best way for us to progress in business is to seek out people with different viewpoints, as this will make us reevaluate and/or reaffirm our conviction.

Find out about the future of business

Lisa Gansky: The future of Business is the Mesh

According to Lisa Gansky, we now care more about access than ownership. This backs up Robin Chase’s ideas (Gansky even mentions Zipcar); businesses should be helping people have a product as and when they need it, but without the burden of ownership.

Make choosing easier for your consumers

Sheena Iyengar: How to Make Choosing Easier

Consumers are overwhelmed with choices. In this video, Sheena Iyengar gives you tools to help make choosing easier for your customers. My favourite advice in this video is that, if you use categorisation, Iyengar points out that the categories must mean something to the chooser, not the choice-maker.

Renovate your work environment

Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work

Working in an office? Jason Fried argues that the office is too full of distractions to get anything done. In order to get a project done, we need long stretches of uninterrupted time. In the office, it’s rare to go for an hour without some form of interruption. He argues for ‘no-talk Thursdays’, using IM and email instead of face-to-face, and cancelling your next meeting.

Find a work-life balance

Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work

Nigel Marsh has something to say: never put your quality of life in the hands of a corporation. He argues that we have to put realistic boundaries in our life; the important thing isn’t that every day has a perfect work/life balance, but that every year overall has a good balance.

Embrace your passion

Larry Smith: Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career

Despite the depressing title, Larry Smith argues for following your dreams wholeheartedly. He condemns anyone who doesn’t follow their passion, and says that the only way to have a great career in modern society is to believe in your passion wholeheartedly and go for it. Going after something you’re not wholly passionate about is an easy way to guarantee failure.

Feel old

Thomas Suarez: The 12 Year Old App Developer

App development is often seen as the younger man’s game, but Thomas Suarez takes that to a whole new level. At the age of 12, he started developing apps. He talks about where kids can go in order to make their own apps, where he found his inspiration, and how he’s helping the others at school develop their own apps.


Ali Coulson

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