TED Talks are some of the most provocative and inspiring video resources available for free today.  Entrepreneurs owe it to themselves to take a look at the videos listed below and see how they can integrate these cutting-edge ideas into their businesses.


Malcolm Gladwell: “Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce”

Best-selling author of books like “Blink” and “The Tipping Point”, Malcolm Gladwell is no stranger to offering out-of-the-box thinking from unconventional sources.  In this TED Talk, Malcolm outlines how the pursuit of the perfect Prego-brand spaghetti sauce by market researcher Howard Moskowitz illuminates how consumers don’t know what they want—or rather, have a hard time articulating it.  He concludes with some thoughts on how the same aspects of food research relate to all things, even our own happiness.

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Rory Sutherland: “Life Lessons from an Ad Man”

In an entertaining fashion, the vice chairman of Oglivy & Mather Group UK (http://www.ogilvy.com/) Rory Sutherland daringly illustrates how marketing and advertising add value to products, simply by changing our perceptions towards it.  He shows historic examples, from the Prussians’ sly famine-prevention schemes of royal potatoes to a hilarious send up of Shreddies‘ new strategy, that show how entrepreneurs can use novel concepts to change the public’s perceptions—and perhaps our own.

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Simon Sinek: “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” 

Author Simon Sinek describes his famous concept of the “golden circle of motivation,” drawing parallels between commerce and our brain’s structure.  He illustrates the methods used between the Wright brothers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Apple, showing that by concentrating on the “why” versus the “what” and “how,” great ideas can gain traction and influence the world we live in.  Sinek goes on further to show how this applies to the marketplace, whom to appeal to, and how to ultimately inspire others to create your own success.

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Bill Gross: “The Single Biggest Reason Why Startups Succeed”

In this relatively short TED Talk, entrepreneur Bill Gross believes in the power of startups to be the best model to influence the world.  Through an analysis of one-hundred of his own companies and one-hundred of others, he boils down the data to show that timing, above all, is the most valuable variable among successful startups.

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Steve Johnson: “Where Good Ideas Come From”

Best-selling author of seven books, Steven Johnson digs deep into his knowledge base of science and technology to show that great thinkers don’t get great ideas suddenly.  Instead, it’s a progression of hunches leading to a culmination of a concrete idea.  Steven goes further, illustrating how “chance favors the connected mind,” emphasizing the need for innovation happening where creative discourse and exchange to further great ideas in our world.

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