Richard Saul Wurman created the TED conference in 1984 as a onetime event. (As you probably know already, TED refers to Technology, Education, and Design.) It became a four-day conference six years later. Chris Anderson purchased TED in 2001. Until 2005, it remained a once-a-year conference: four days of programs, 50 speakers, 18-minute presentations. Anderson added TEDGlobal to reach an international audience. TED.com was launched in 2006. Thus far, the website has attracted more than one billion views, averaging about two million day. The video programs have been translated into more than 100 languages.
According to Anderson, “With TED, the end of the talk should not be the end of the idea, but just the beginning.” TED showcases speakers who are knowledgeable, of course, but also “human, relatable, and often emotional, so what they share lights people up.”
There are no charges to access any of the TED programs. After attending the 2006 conference, documentary filmmaker Daphne Zuniga described it as “Cirque Du Soleil for the mind.” Oprah Winfrey later observed, “TED is where brilliant people go to hear other brilliant people.”
I will continue to recommend the TED programs that are among the most highly-rated. For example, Steve Jobs. At his Stanford University commencement speech, Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple and Pixar, urges us to pursue our dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself. As CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs spearheaded a few of the most iconic products in technology, entertainment and design.
The pundits of Silicon Valley have a term for Steve Jobs’ charisma: the reality distortion field. But the truth is, most of us like living in Jobs’ reality, where exquisite design and sheer utility make for some addictively usable tools.
Jobs’ famous persuasive power was equalled by his creativity and business brilliance — apparent in legendary hardware and software achievements across three decades of work. The Macintosh computer (which brought the mouse-driven, graphical user interface to prominence), Pixar Animation Studios (which produced Toy Story, the first fully-3D-animated feature film), the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad all owe credit to Jobs’ leadership and invention.
Jobs battled a rare form of pancreatic cancer — adding to an epic life story that mirrors the story of Apple itself: ever the underdog, ever the spectacular success. In August 2011 he stepped down as Apple’s CEO, remaining as Chairman of the Board. He died on October 5, 2011.
Here is a direct link to that TEDTalk. I envy anyone who has not as yet seen it.