25 TED Talks that Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur

25 TED Talks that Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur

For years, TED has grown in leaps and bounds, generating ideas that have the potential to impact millions for the better, and bringing them to a platform that allows these ideas to not only be heard, but implemented.

One of the key traits of a successful entrepreneur is continuous growth in personal development. They understand that education is a life-long, ongoing process, that is vital to stay current and relevant in an industry.

This curated list of 25 TED talks for entrepreneurship is designed to assist entrepreneurs in their endeavor for continued learning, and is guaranteed to teach them something new, and make them look at their business or leadership style from a different perspective.

1. Richard Branson: Life at 30,000 feet

Although this is really an interview and not a talk, it holds a key into the mindset of one of the most successful and arguably most inspiring entrepreneurs of our time, Richard Branson.

Branson talks about his beginnings of the Virgin empire, lends insight into some tough decisions he’s made with his companies, talks about failures, almost going to jail, and a near death experience.

Throughout all the success, this entrepreneur holds firm that success in business is all about treating people well, finding the right people, and inspiring those people to believe the vision.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

Branson gives key advice into how successful entrepreneurs run their business, and also sheds light on his own learning disabilities which have clearly not stopped this billionaire from taking the business world by storm.

Memorable Quotes:

“I actually think that the best way of becoming a successful business leader is dealing with people fairly and well, and like to think that is how we run Virgin.”

“I think I learned early on that if you can run one company, you can really run any companies. I mean, companies are all about finding the right people, inspiring those people, and drawing out the best in people. And I just love learning and I’m incredibly inquisitive, and I love taking on the status quo and trying to turn it upside down.”

2. Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree

Margaret Heffernan is a management thought leader and former CEO of 5 businesses who brings to light a very important flaw in the current way we think in organizations.

In her talk she tells the story of Alice Stewart, a remarkable scientist from the 1950’s who had a secret weapon to help her think her best. She had a collaboration with a colleague where all he did was try to disprove her.

Margaret drives home the point that conflict is necessary to think well.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

To be a great entrepreneur you and your people within your organization have to be able to think well. Margaret shows entrepreneurs how to create a culture where conflict is welcomed, rather than feared, and instead of fearing conflict, view it as thinking well.

Memorable Quotes:

“So how do organizations think? Well, for the most part, they don’t. And that isn’t because they don’t want to, it’s really because they can’t. And they can’t because the people inside of them are too afraid of conflict.”

“People like many of us, who have run organizations, and gone out of our way to try to find the very best people we can, mostly fail to get the best out of them.”

3. Seth Godin: How to Get Your Ideas Spread

The marketing guru, Seth Godin, in only a way he can, explains how holding on to old ideals and beliefs in marketing, like the TV-industrial complex, and creating products for the average consumer are utterly failing in today’s market.

He takes you from the real origins behind sliced bread, to the successes of many larger brands, to one of his own failures to explain three things we are doing wrong in our marketing today.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

If people don’t listen to you, then you are going out of business.

So many companies are using the old ideals of marketing, and failing to connect with the new consumer who has many more choices than they used to, and way less time to listen. This talk will get your marketing mind and strategy on the right track.

Memorable Quotes:

“The thing that’s going to decide what gets talked about, what gets done, what gets changed, what gets purchased, what gets built, is: is it remarkable?”

“We’re now in the fashion business, no matter what we do for a living, we’re in the fashion business. And the thing is, people in the fashion business know what it’s like to be in the fashion business – they’re used to it.”

4. David S. Rose: Pitching to VCs

Serial entrepreneur turned investor, David Rose, has personally raised tens of millions of dollars from VCs, and is no stranger to being pitched to as well.

David talks about the number one most important thing in a VC pitch amongst all elements, the 10 characteristics you have to convey during a pitch and which is most important, and critical things you should never say in your pitch.

He is basically giving you the ability to read the mind of an investor before you pitch, in under 15 minutes, for free.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

If you don’t already see the value of this talk from the description above, let’s break it down simply. A highly successful entrepreneur, who has raised millions and now invests millions, is giving you pretty much every important element of what to include in your pitch, and even adds in presentation tips!

Memorable Quotes:

“The entire purpose of a VC pitch is to convince them that you are the entrepreneur in whom they are going to invest their money and make a lot of money in return.”

“If you’re not passionate about your own company, why on Earth should anyone else be passionate? Why should they put more money into your company, if you’re not passionate about it? So, integrity and passion: the single most important things out there.”

5. Simon Sinek: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

Leadership expert Simon Sinek starts with a story about remarkable leadership he witnessed from a captain in the military, and wondered where leaders like this came from.

He talks about how great leaders build trust and cooperation, covers the roots of how we as humans initially chose leaders in the paleolithic era by making us feel safe from danger, and how this applies to the modern world.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

To run a successful business, you have to have a great leader. This talk goes beyond the superficial, and covers the important elements of leadership from a psychological and emotional level, and gives specific examples of the distinction between leadership vs. being in charge.

As a bonus, I highly recommend his other talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

Memorable Quotes:

“You know, in the military, they give medals to people who are willing to sacrifice themselves so that others may gain. In business, we give bonuses to people who are willing to sacrifice others so that we may gain. We have it backwards.”

“Leadership is a choice. It is not a rank. I know many people at the senior most levels of organizations who are absolutely not leaders. They are authorities, and we do what they say because they have authority over us, but we would not follow them. And I know many people who are at the bottoms of organizations who have no authority and they are absolutely leaders, and this is because they have chosen to look after the person to the left of them, and they have chosen to look after the person to the right of them. This is what a leader is.”

6. Angela Lee Duckworth: The Key to Success? Grit

Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth left her demanding consulting job to become a seventh grade teacher at age 27.

She realized from grading and observing her students that IQ was not the only factor between her best and worst students.

Fascinated by the idea, she became a psychologist to study both kids and adults on who was successful and why. What she found as the most important element for success was unexpected.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

When looking at co-founders and hiring employees for your company, this talk discusses why grit is the most important characteristic to look for, and how to build and foster it in others.

Memorable Quotes:

“In education, the one thing we know how to measure best is IQ. But what if doing well in school and in life depends on much more than your ability to learn quickly and easily?”

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

7. Gary Vaynerchuk: Do What You Love (no excuses!)

Entrepreneur and public speaker, Gary Vaynerchuk, built his family’s business into a 50M dollar company.

He takes listeners through his life stories, giving insights into how passion led him to starting a new company at age 30.

Gary advocates how anyone can launch any idea if they can get it talked about, and to first begin by looking in the mirror and deciding who you are and what you are passionate about.

He also hits on the importance of patience, and how you have to be willing to lose money doing what you love initially, and be patient enough to position yourself for success.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

Besides the fact that he is a brilliant speaker, Gary helps entrepreneurs look at what they really care about, and understand the importance of brand equity. He’s been on shows like Ellen and Conan without a PR person, and he talks about how you can do the same.

Memorable Quotes:

“Let’s talk about community. Listen to your users. Absolutely. But giving a sh1t about your users is way better. People listen but they don’t do anything. Doing something. Answering those emails. Giving a crap. Caring about your user base. That’s what you need to do. You need to care about everything and it starts with yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘What do I want to do every day for the rest of my life?’ Do that. I promise that you can monetize that.”

“Do you know what I hustle about? I hustle about meeting every single person on earth. Do you know why? Because most people who don’t really know me think I’m a loud, obnoxious, East Coast guy. Why is this guy here, he’s a wine guy, he’s a dick. But when they meet me they can see that I care. I got lucky my DNA is weird. I care more about people more than I care about myself.”

8. David Brooks: Should You Live for Your Résumé?

New York Times columnist, David Brooks, poses a question everyone should take the time to think about.

Should we focus on the virtues we add to our résumé (our skills), or our eulogy virtues (our relationships, who we are, our depth), and which one do you focus on more?

David talks about how these two sides of our nature are constantly at war, and that the problem with focusing on our résumé virtues is that it turns us into cold, calculating beings that look at life as a game and we never reach our desired self.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

David’s talk is short and too the point, and will make you really think about the values you live vs. the person you want to be in this world, and if your business goals align with your life goals.

Memorable Quotes:

“So I’ve been thinking about the difference between the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the ones you put on your résumé, which are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that get mentioned in the eulogy, which are deeper: who are you, in your depth, what is the nature of your relationships, are you bold, loving, dependable, consistency?”

“We live in perpetual self-confrontation between the external success and the internal value. And the tricky thing, I’d say, about these two sides of our nature is they work by different logics.”

9. Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work

Software entrepreneur, Jason Fried takes on the question every business owner wants to know: Why can’t people seem to get their work done at work?

He talks about how businesses buy space and fill it with things and expect employees to do work there at specific times, but when he asks people where they go when they really need to get something done, the answer is rarely “the office”.

He digs deeper into the problems and distractions of an office, discusses the similarities of sleep phases and work “phases”, and the real problems that happen at the office that are the greatest distractions he likes to call “M&Ms”.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

Fried gives valuable insight into how people work best, and gives easy to implement ideas to make your office less distracting, and more productive.

Memorable Quotes:

“If you ask people the question: where do you really need to go when you need to get something done? Typically you get three different kinds of answers. One is kind of a place or a location or a room. Another one is a moving object and a third is a time.”

“You look back on your day, and you’re like, I got nothing done today. I was at work. I sat at my desk. I used my expensive computer. I used the software they told me to use. I went to these meetings I was asked to go to. I did these conference calls. I did all this stuff. But I didn’t actually do anything. I just did tasks. I didn’t actually get meaningful work done.”

10. Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation

Career analyst, Dan Pink, makes a case for rethinking how business is run by starting off with an old behavioral science experiment called “the candle problem”, and how findings prove that people who are given a monetary motivation perform worse in creative thinking and problem solving.

He digs deep into how businesses using rewards is the opposite of what science proves to be true.

Pink talks about how rewards work in narrowing our focus and are great for tasks with a set of clear rules, but to solve real business problems that involve creative, innovative thinking, we need a new type of motivation.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

As an entrepreneur you must understand what motivates your employees to do great work. In this talk, Pink will tell you what motivation works for the 21st century worker, and guide you away from the mistakes businesses worldwide continue to make.

Memorable Quotes:

“Think about your own work. Are the problems that you face, or even the problems we’ve been talking about here, do they have a clear set of rules, and a single solution? No. The rules are mystifying. The solution, if it exists at all, is surprising and not obvious. Everybody in this room is dealing with their own version of the candle problem. And for candle problems of any kind, in any field, those if-then rewards, the things around which we’ve built so many of our businesses, don’t work!”

“There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.”

11. Joseph Pine: What Consumers Want

Author and writer, Joseph Pine, discusses the evolution of our economy and how it affects what consumers are looking for and care about.

Pine believes we are shifting into what he calls “the experience economy” and that authenticity has become the new criteria for consumers.

He poses a very important question for business owners in this economy: “Are you rendering authenticity?”, and ends with 3 rules of authenticity.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

What your customer wants is one of the most important things to know about your business. This talk will give every entrepreneur a fantastic overview of the evolution of our economy, and discusses what consumers care about now and why. Pine will leave you with key insights into how to be perceived as authentic by your consumers.

Memorable Quotes:

“There is no such thing as an inauthentic experience. Why? Because the experience happens inside of us. It’s our reaction to the events that are staged in front of us. So, as long as we are in any sense authentic human beings, then every experience we have is authentic.”

“Disney World, on the other hand, is a fake real, or a fake reality. Right? It’s not what it says it is. It’s not really the magic kingdom. But Disney World is wonderfully true to itself. Right? Just wonderfully true to itself. When you are there you are just immersed in this wonderful environment. So, it’s a fake real.”

12. Sam Richards: A Radical Experiment in Empathy

Sociologist, Sam Richards, takes you out of your own shoes and into the mindset of others.

In this talk, he asks the audience to completely remove themselves from the picture, and envision themselves in scenarios of others.

He takes the audience through radical scenarios to show the power empathy holds in understanding one another, and teaches us to break out of our narrow mindsets.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

Empathy is a key characteristic of successful leaders. This talk will help you get out of your own mind, and allow you to better understand your customer or employee’s point of view.

Memorable Quotes:

“Step outside of your tiny, little world. Step inside of the tiny, little world of somebody else. And then do it again and do it again and do it again. And suddenly all these tiny, little worlds, they come together in this complex web. And they build a big, complex world. And suddenly, without realizing it, you’re seeing the world differently. Everything has changed. Everything in your life has changed. And that’s, of course, what this is about.”

“Attend to other lives, other visions. Listen to other people, enlighten ourselves.”

13. Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend

Feeling stressed? Health psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, wants you to change your mind on the way you view stress after a study she discovered changed her mind.

She discovered that the way you view stress is more important that the actual stress itself in determining if it will have negative effects on your health.

She delves into how by changing your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response in a positive way, and at the same time make your stress response healthier.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

There is not one entrepreneur on this planet who has not let stress get the best of them. This talk will help you understand how stress really works, and change the way you view stress so that it works for you, and not against you. She also gives key insights into the really cool secret for stress resiliency.

Memorable Quotes:

“Researchers estimated that over the eight years they were tracking deaths, 182,000 Americans died prematurely, not from stress, but from the belief that stress is bad for you. That is over 20,000 deaths a year. Now, if that estimate is correct, that would make believing stress is bad for you the 15th largest cause of death in the United States last year, killing more people than skin cancer, HIV/AIDS and homicide.”

“When you reach out to others under stress, either to seek support or to help someone else, you release more of this hormone, your stress response becomes healthier, and you actually recover faster from stress. I find this amazing, that your stress response has a built-in mechanism for stress resilience, and that mechanism is human connection.”

14. Eddie Obeng: Smart Failure for a Fast-Changing World

Business educator, Eddie Obeng, talks about the idea that our world has changed so quickly that our minds haven’t caught up.

Obeng reminds us of the extraordinary rate technology has accelerated, and that the internet has made global the new (and only) scale.

He points out a fundamental flaw in the way we think, and encourages us to consider what impact in the future the problems we solve today will have, and what new problems will be caused.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

Entrepreneurs have to be visionaries to be great. This talk encourages people to consider the effects of what they do now, and how it will affect the future.

Memorable Quotes:

“We solve last year’s problems without thinking about the future. If you try and think about it, the things you’re solving now, what problems are they going to bring in the future? If you haven’t understood the world you’re living in, it’s almost impossible to be absolutely certain that what you’re going to deliver fits.”

“You are sitting at the headquarters of a global corporation if you’re connected to the Internet. What’s happened is, we’ve changed the scale. Size and scale are no longer the same. And then add to that, every time you tweet, over a third of your followers follow from a country which is not your own.”

15. Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work

Positive psychologist, Shawn Achor, talks about the power of changing the lens in which we view our world, which is currently bombarded with much more negative input than positive.

He uses his experience at Harvard as a example, finding that no matter how happy students were to be there, within two weeks they were all focused on the workload, stress, and competition.

Achor discovered that the reason we are so out of touch with happiness is because our formula to get there is wrong.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

Your job as a business leader is to make sure that your employees are happy. When we are happy we work better. This talk will give you tools to understand how to rewire the brain to start with happiness, rather than see it as a result of reaching some goal.

Memorable Quotes:

“We’re finding it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.”

“If I know everything about your external world, I can only predict 10% of your long-term happiness. 90 percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world.And if we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success, we can change the way that we can then affect reality.”

16. Harish Manwani: Profit’s not always the point

The COO of Unilever, Harish Manwani, considers the outdated business model we continue using, and suggests we are missing a 4th portion of the model that not only creates economic value, but social value.

He boldly states that leadership is the key to this change, and that companies need to define not only their product, but role in helping society.

He uses the example of how Unilever adds to social good by helping billions avoid infections through programs facilitating the simple act of hand washing.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

This talk is a powerful reminder of what business leaders need to focus on to run a successful company in today’s world. Consumers are drawn to companies who believe in and do good, and this talk gives examples of how social responsibility adds to your company’s value.

Memorable Quotes:

“Companies cannot afford to be just innocent bystanders in what’s happening around in society. They have to begin to play their role in terms of serving the communities which actually sustain them. And we have to move to a model of an and/and model which is how do we make money and do good?”

“I realized that simple acts like selling a bar of soap can save more lives than pharmaceutical companies. I don’t know how many of you know that five million children don’t reach the age of five because of simple infections that can be prevented by an act of washing their hands with soap.”

17. Tom Wujec: Build a Tower, Build a Team

Author Tom Wujec delves into the power and significance behind a design challenge called “the marshmallow challenge that he’s since tested in 70+ workshops.

Through his findings, groups of children continuously did better than adult groups of graduate students. He shares the findings behind this famous team building activity.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

This talk will not only inspire you to try this team building test, but help you understand the thinking behind great design.

Memorable Quotes:

“And the fundamental lesson, I believe, is that design truly is a contact sport. It demands that we bring all of our senses to the task, and that we apply the very best of our thinking, our feeling and our doing to the challenge that we have at hand. And sometimes, a little prototype of this experience is all that it takes to turn us from an “uh-oh” moment to a “ta-da” moment. And that can make a big difference.”

18. Julie Burstein: 4 Lessons in Creativity

Writer and radio producer, Julie Burstein, starts with one of her favorite forms of art, and uses it as a metaphor for the creative process.

She takes the audience through 4 aspects of life they must embrace to flourish their creativity.

Through stories and her own experiences she tells the audience that artists do their best work in parts of life that are most difficult, and how they find their voice by pushing against the limits.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

If you need a spark of creativity, then this talk will give you plenty. Creativity allows entrepreneurs to see things in new ways, and envision your product/service in a new light.

Memorable Quotes:

“There’s a fourth embrace, and it’s the hardest. It’s the embrace of loss, the oldest and most constant of human experiences. In order to create, we have to stand in that space between what we see in the world and what we hope for, looking squarely at rejection, at heartbreak, at war, at death. That’s a tough space to stand in.”

“I want to leave you with another image of a Japanese tea bowl […] as you can also see, this one did break at some point in its hundred years. But the person who put it back together, instead of hiding the cracks, decided to emphasize them, using gold lacquer to repair it. This bowl is more beautiful now, having been broken, than it was when it was first made, and we can look at those cracks, because they tell the story that we all live, of the cycle of creation and destruction, of control and letting go, of picking up the pieces and making something new.”

19. Vik Nithy: Why We Procrastinate

Vik Nithy was founder of 3 companies at the young age of 20, and confesses his crippling addiction to a plague called procrastination.

Vik talks about the reasons why we procrastinate things that are important, which involves a battle between two different parts of our brains, and how we have a monkey that takes control and steers us away from anything scary, unpleasant, or overwhelming.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

Since our brains are all wired the same way, I am guessing your procrastination has kicked in at the worst times. This talk gives you a few, easily implementable tools to beat the “monkey mind”, and get more done.

Memorable Quotes:

“So, when we procrastinate, we experience a mild anxiety response to a threatening stimulus which just happens to be an assignment that you may have to complete. So, what is it that we’re afraid of? Well, meet your monkey mind! This is the part of your brain, the voice in your head that reacts to the threatening stimulus of an essay. You may be afraid of overwhelm. You might find that the task is overwhelming and you don’t know where to start. You might, if it’s an unpleasant task, dread the displeasure of doing the task, and if it’s a more complex task, when your performance is being measured, then you may have a fear of actual failure. So perfectionists use procrastination as a self-handicapping tool to avoid personal failure.”

20. Dr. Ivan Joseph: The Skill of Self-Confidence

Dr. Ivan Joseph, Director of Athletics at Ryerson University, discusses the key element he looks for in students that want to play sports at his university, and it’s not what you would think.

The most important quality of an athlete he looks for is self confidence, and believes it is a skill that can be fostered and grown to benefit our lives in anything we do.

Dr. Joseph discusses key ways to build self confidence, and how you can build the self confidence in others.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

Who as an entrepreneur has not felt that the world was crumbling under their feet at one point or another? If you say you haven’t then you are in denial or lying! This talk will teach you how to build the skill of self confidence in not only yourself, but your employees and others around you.

Memorable Quotes:

“The most important thing is self confidence. Without that skill we are useless as a soccer player, because when you lose sight or belief in yourself, we are done for.”

“Self confident people interpret feedback the way they choose to.”

“We all have a self talk tape that plays in our head. Guess what? There are enough people telling us that we can’t do it, that we aren’t good enough. Why do we want to tell ourselves that?”

21. Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happiness and Spaghetti Sauce

Malcolm Gladwell, an author that needs no introduction, uses the story of Howard Moskowitz, who studied trends for many of the products of many companies we know, and is well known for his work with Prego.

Gladwell explains how Prego was already superior in the industry, yet failing, and Moskowitz discovered it was because they were looking for the answers in the wrong places.

They were missing huge markets in the industry. Moskowitz’s work not only brought us sauce that makes us happy, but his work holds value lessons on how we as consumers think, and how companies need to change their adherence to “universal” principles in their industry, and look at the data in different ways.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

This talk holds lessons in marketing, product development, and customer satisfaction that are too important not to know.

Memorable Quotes:

“And today, if you go to a really good supermarket, do you know how many Ragùs there are? 36! In six varieties: Cheese, Light, Robusto, Rich & Hearty, Old World Traditional — Extra-Chunky Garden. That’s Howard’s doing. That is Howard’s gift to the American people.”

“People don’t know what they want! As Howard loves to say, “The mind knows not what the tongue wants.” It’s a mystery! And a critically important step in understanding our own desires and tastes is to realize that we cannot always explain what we want, deep down.”

“The difference between coffee at 60 and coffee at 78 is a difference between coffee that makes you wince, and coffee that makes you deliriously happy.”

22. Keren Elazari: Hackers: the Internet’s Immune System

Cyber security expert, Keren Elazari, talks about both our fear and fascination with the power of hackers, and how they are a vital part of the internet in finding threats in our world and fixing them.

As a hacker herself, she describes the feeling of power they have and how yes, some are responsible for theft and fraud, but many like to break things to find the weak spots in our world, and fix them.

Through several examples of how hackers have fixed products and made our lives safer, even though they are often deemed criminal, we need them because they demand the world to be better.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

This is a great talk for every entrepreneur to rethink and see the value in hackers in our vulnerable digital world. This talk will remind you to always be questioning the vulnerability of your product online, and always be looking to improve.

Memorable Quotes:

“They have been called many names from criminals to terrorists, and I cannot justify their illegal means, but the ideas they fight for are ones that matter to us all. The reality is, hackers can do a lot more than break things. They can bring people together.”

“I think we need hackers, and in fact, they just might be the immune system for the information age. Sometimes they make us sick, but they also find those hidden threats in our world, and they make us fix it.”

23. Kevin Allocca: Why Videos Go Viral

Youtube’s Trends manager, Kevin Allocca, shares the three key ingredients he has discovered about viral videos, after watching them for a living for so long.

In his short, yet brilliant talk, he delves into specific videos we all love, and helps us see why these videos went viral.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

The internet and social media has made it possible for any person or brand to become an internet celebrity, and this talk will lead you in the direction of creating content that is shared by the masses.

Memorable Quotes:

“No one has to green-light your idea. And we all now feel some ownership in our own pop culture. And these are not characteristics of old media, and they’re barely true of the media of today, but they will define the entertainment of the future.”

“So “Nyan Cat” is a looped animation with looped music. It’s this, just like this. It’s been viewed nearly 50 million times this year. And if you think that that is weird, you should know that there is a three-hour version of this that’s been viewed four million times.”

24. Stefan Sagmeister: The Power of Time Off

Graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister talks about doing something with his company that would probably make most of you cringe, he shuts down his NYC based design studio every seven years, for one year.

He flips the traditional life of work and places years that would be reserved for retirement into his schedule earlier.

He talks about the idea of sabbaticals, and how many successful people have not only benefited, but done incredible work during or after them.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

Entrepreneurs often become consumed by their work and company, and lose sight of who they are, and the possibilities surrounding them. This talk will teach you how you the power, and surprising work benefits from taking time off.

Memorable Quotes:

“I run a design studio in New York. Every seven years, I close it for one year to pursue some little experiments, things that are always difficult to accomplish during the regular working year. In that year, we are not available for any of our clients. We are totally closed. And as you can imagine, it is a lovely and very energetic time.”

“I’ve found that finding out about what I’m going to like in the future,my very best way is to talk to people who have actually done it much better than myself envisioning it.”

25. Ernesto Sirolli: Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen

Ernesto Sirolli, an authority in the world of sustainable economic development, and talks about the mistakes we make in our approach with economic development in other countries, particularly Africa.

He sheds light onto the right ways to approach economic development, and how he believes it will be the entrepreneurs that will create the sustainability of the future.

Finally, he teaches the tricks to working successfully with entrepreneurs and sheds light on key lessons for businesses.

Why entrepreneurs should watch this talk:

This talk will make you rethink economic development, and gives you incredible lessons on how you as an entrepreneur can impact future development.

Memorable Quotes:

“We Western people are imperialist, colonialist missionaries, and there are only two ways we deal with people: We either patronize them, or we are paternalistic.”

“I was given a slap in the face reading a book, “Small is Beautiful,” written by Schumacher, who said, above all in economic development, if people do not wish to be helped, leave them alone. This should be the first principle of aid. The first principle of aid is respect.”

“…this is what Peter Drucker says: “Planning is actually incompatible with an entrepreneurial society and economy.” Planning is the kiss of death of entrepreneurship.”

Bonus from one of our favorite people: Kimberly Rich


This talk is a TED talk about entrepreneurship, but is not in a direct way. It’s all about how to live your life to your fullest, without regret.

SEO For SaaS

Written by Smash.vc

We invest in profit-focused lifestyle businesses. Also memes, lots of memes.

a cool catchy arrow (oh my)

Investors in
Bootstrapped Businesses

underline-marker-light-green

We take minority ownership positions in "lifestyle businesses".
We're not VC's, but partners for the longterm.