Monday, November 2, 2009

TEDxDetroit recap

My cousin, Gabriel Mott, turned me on to TED in 2005 by linking to what is still my favorite TED talk. I was excited to be accepted as an attendee of the inaugural TEDxDetroit event on 10/21/2009 at Lawrence Tech University.

The most beneficial part for me was speaking with other attendees such as Alex Fisher, Henry Balanon, Bret Kopf, Betsy Weber and meeting new people such as Lisamarie Babik, David Benjamin, Andrew Brown, Jamie Favreau, Lee Andros (bus buddy!), Janak Mehta, Rich Sheridan, and Dug Song.

Here are my take aways:

  • Ask high quality questions.  High quality questions provoke thought.  An example could be "How can we generate y revenue through x technology?",  "How can social media help solve world hunger?"
  • What can we do now given the current technology and environment?  If our plans depend on a change (new technology, etc) what if that change doesn't manifest?  If our plans don't consider the current environment (ie. culture) how will the implementation go?
  • There are two ways to make money, by nickel and diming the competition or by taking big leaps over them.  Giants take big leaps.  Who are your giants?
  • Users are not stupid. Designs are stupid.  Observer your users in their environment and reduce their pain.
  • Some people are economic hurricanes.  Everyone has great ideas.  Those who execute on those ideas are the hurricanes.
  • Research the problem before providing the solution.  When we have ideas we think of our solution and present that.  Instead of presenting that, present the problem inspiring your solution and see what others have to say.
  • At a certain level of wealth problems are problems of perception.  This was a particularly interesting talk for me because I tend to think in functional terms instead of presentation.
    • All value is relative.
    • Persuasion is better than mandates.
    • Contextual timely and immediate.
P.S. If you would like to attend a regional TED event, TEDxLansing is seeking volunteers.

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