For over 30 years, TED Talks have inspired people around the world. In more than 100 languages, presenters explore ideas from a broad spectrum ranging from the latest scientific developments to key global issues. The best thing about TED Talks is that they offer free access to teachings from many business leaders that often charge hundreds or thousands of dollars at their conferences.
Let’s review some of the best TED talks to listen to and the lessons you can learn from them:
Seth Godin: How to Get Your Ideas to Spread
Entrepreneur, marketer, and author Seth Godin has three great TED Talks, but the one that business owners should start with is How to Get Your Ideas to Spread. In this TED Talk, Godin invites you to think about before sliced bread was invented in the 1910s. What did people reference as the best thing ever created?
He believes that the key to business isn’t about patents or factory efficiencies; instead, it’s about whether or not your idea can spread. Throughout this talk, Godin addresses all types of entrepreneurs, including bakery owners and fashion designers.
Margaret Gould Stewart: How Giant Websites Design for You (And a Billion Others, Too)
Stewart is a brilliant woman in STEM and a trailblazer in the field of user experience. Leveraging her previous experience at YouTube and current role as Director of Product Design at Facebook, she addresses a key challenge for all tech entrepreneurs: everyone wants to achieve millions, scratch that, billions of users, but those entrepreneurs keep developing only for U.S. millennials with the latest smartphone models and top-notch internet connections.
“Designing for low-end cell phones is not glamorous design work, but if you want to design for the whole world, you have to design for where people are, and not where you are,” Steward advises in How Giant Websites Design for You (And a Billion Others, Too).
Dame Stephanie Shirley: Why Do Ambitious Women Have Flat Heads?
With U.S. colleges unable to meet the high demand for computing jobs, more and more companies are racing to increase the number of women interested in computing science. While there are some amazing women who own tech startups, the original female tech mogul is Dame Stephanie Shirley.
In 1962, she founded her software company Freelance Programmers, which initially employed only women and became a top player in a male-dominated industry. Watch Why Do Ambitious Women Have Flat Heads? to learn how her company gained a $3 billion market valuation and what takeaways she provides to female entrepreneurs.
Roman Mars: Why City Flags May Be The Worst-Designed Thing You’ve Never Noticed
On the one hand, the iconic Twitter bird logo had a price tag of $15, and on the other, the British Petroleum (BP) logo had one of $211 million. Can you guess which one is the most recognized one around the world? It doesn’t matter how much money you spend; good design speaks louder.
In Why City Flags May Be The Worst-Designed Thing You’ve Never Noticed, Roman Mars, host of NPR’s 99% Invisible touches on five basic design principles for city flags. Surprisingly, those same principles are applicable to pretty much all business collateral, including logos and banners.
Gary Vaynerchuk: Do What You Love (No Excuses!)
After taking his family's wine business from $3 million to $60 million in just five years, Gary Vaynerchuk founded a major digital agency advising companies such as Facebook, Birchbox, and Uber, and co-founded an investment fund.
If you ever need a pep talk to start your own business or to cheer up after a harsh day, you can find in Vaynerchuk‘s TED Talk Do What You Love (No Excuses!), a much-needed dose of enthusiasm, energy, and passion.
Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happiness and Spaghetti Sauce
Author of many bestsellers, including The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell is a three-time speaker at TED Talks. In Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce, Gladwell explains the importance of variability in the food industry.
From his anecdotes about a food scientist that counted Pepsi, Prego, and Campbell’s soup among his clients, owners of restaurants and food establishments can learn a little secret of how to make customers “deliriously happy.”
Regina Hartley: Why The Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume
Whether hiring your first employee or a batch of seasonal workers, all business owners are looking for the perfect candidate. However, Regina Hartley, a 25-year veteran of the human resources industry, believes that “scrappers” always deserve a chance. She believes that somebody who has an unusual resume filled with several jobs, sabbaticals, and unusual circumstances deserves at the very least an interview.
In Why The Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume, Hartley shares compelling statistics about why circumstances others might consider undesirable, such as learning disabilities, can become drivers for success for individuals.