6 Must-Watch TED Talks for Archipreneurs in 2017

Published on March 2, 2017 | by Archipreneur
"Creative Commons Ted Talk" by urban_data is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Looking for some inspiration to strengthen you passion for Archipreneurship? This eclectic collection of TED Talks will inspire and motivate you to work smarter, faster and more creatively in 2017.

TED Talks seem to have transformed from a platform which celebrates remarkable ideas to a format within which over-rehearsed performances aim to primarily entertain. Many of the talks come off as self-congratulatory and preachy, often oversimplifying topics by accentuating single success stories.

Nevertheless, some TED talks can be a great learning tool in three major ways. The most engaging ones teach how to become excellent at presenting your projects and ideas. Pacing, exposition, language and confidence are among the elements that make a good presentation.

Another useful aspect of TED talks in the content itself–compelling ideas and projects which you can research further and use in your own work. Thirdly, TED talks are often given by people who, in some form or another, overcame various hurdles to get their projects off the ground and their stories can be useful to archipreneurs.

These 6 TED talks are a great combination of presentations which will motivate you, provide insight and give you some no-nonsense advice when it comes to running a business.

#1 – How to Build with Clay … and Community, by Diébédo Francis Kéré

Diébédo Francis Kéré grew up in a small village in Burkina Faso and went to architecture school in Berlin where he’s currently based. His practice focuses on adapting modern technology to build affordable buildings for struggling communities throughout the world, including his home country.

In his talk, Kéré describes the involvement of local communities as crucial part of the success of his projects. Soft spoken and keeping eye contact with the audience, Kéré captivates, demonstrating that speaking and thinking about architecture as an expression of personal ethos can always generate interest and draw attention. Passion, for Kéré, is what makes him successful.

#2 – Two Reasons Companies Fail – and How to Avoid Them, by Knut Haanaes

Doing what you’re good at and looking for new, innovative solutions are equally important for running a successful business, claims growth specialist and business strategist Knut Haanaes. Focusing exclusively on creating innovative products and services, or efficiently exploiting existing ones can be equally hazardous to companies.

Exploiting what you already have can be bad in the long term, while focusing only on exploration can be bad short term. Innovation and competence both need to be in place in order to successfully run a business today, and avoid becoming obsolete tomorrow. A balance between exploration and exploitation is the key.

#3 – The Single Biggest Reason Why Startups Succeed, by Bill Gross

Many would argue that this talk by Bill Gross, American financial guru, author and serial entrepreneur, should be mandatory viewing for all entrepreneurs. Here he ponders on why so many startups fail and why few succeed. Gross collected data and looked at the most important factors in startup success and failure–Idea, Team, Business Model, Funding, Timing.

He looked across a 100 companies created through IdeaLab, his own startup incubator, and 100 non-IdeaLab companies, including Uber, Instagram and Youtube. He evaluated all of the companies and came to a surprising conclusion. Watch the video to find out which of these five factors plays the most important role in startup success.

#4 – The Tradeoffs of Building Green, by Catherine Mohr

You want to build green homes? Perhaps you are looking to build your own house as your first attempt at real estate development? Even if you’re not interested in building green, this talk by Catherine Mohr, surgeon and inventor, will remind you how important attention to detail and analytical attitude are to anyone attempting to build anything.

She wanted to build a truly sustainable home for herself and her husband and to do it, she had to look at something that’s rarely mentioned in the media-embodied energy, or the total amount of energy that goes into making something. It shows that sometimes, the things you least expect to be an expenditure or liability in your business, can be the cause of failure.

#5 – How to Get Your Ideas to Spread, by Seth Godin

Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker, uses examples to propose that the businesses don’t owe their success to the quality of their ideas, but to their ability to spread them. This is a rather cynical attitude, especially when it comes to architecture, but from the standpoint of a marketer, Godin makes a good point. However crazy or impossible your idea may seem, what determines whether it gets any traction or not is its ability to draw attention.

Particularly these days, originality can go a long way in attracting customers and clients. Godin proposes that there is always a demographic that you can reach, as long as you offer something remarkable. Don’t make average products for everyone. Find your audience, figure out what people really want.

#6 – How to Make Work-Life Balance Work, by Nigel Marsh

“If you don’t design your life, someone else will design it for you”, says author and entrepreneur Nigel Marsh. He insists on recognizing that some jobs are simply designed to be incompatible with work-life balance. In his opinion, casual Fridays and childcare facilities in the office are only ways form companies to keep you working longer, hardly tools for creating a balance.

His also cautions the audience not to expect each day to incorporate all the things they enjoy doing, but instead look at work-life balance on a wider timescale. “Approach balance in a balanced way”, says Nigel Marsh. An insightful, reasonable look at work-life balance by a guy who has been through the same struggle himself. “Small investments in the right places you can radically transform the quality of your life.”


Hope these talks will motivate and inspire you to make great choices in 2017. Which other TED Talks have you found relevant to your archipreneurial efforts?

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