The TED-Talk-a-Day Diet

A few years ago, I was excited for every new disciple I brought in on the “TED-secret”. Now, that it is no longer a secret and most everybody knows about it, I want to suggest a new concept: The TED-talk-a-day diet. This is a diet of continuous learning and inspiration, in digestible portions. You know TED Talks are great – why not make them a permanent part of your life?!

What’s TED

(skip for most)

If you are asking yourself “what the heck is this TED Tal keeps talking about?” Realize, you are a minority, let’s fix that promptly: TED began as an annual conference with the most amazing people and speakers, and it has evolved to a global series of conference/events (often called TEDxSomething). Each TED event brings amazing speakers for talks of 3-18 minutes. The 18-minute TED format ensures it is full of inspiring content, forcing the speakers to deliver their best performance. Most of these TED Talks are online and available to all at In fact, TED Talks were recently viewed over 1 Billion times.

My TED experience

I made it a habit to exercise (on a treadmill, for instance) with a podcast version of TED videos playing from my iPhone. TED’s motto, “ideas worth spreading”, is inspiring in and of itself. I helped organize a weekly screening and discussion of TED and a live video broadcast of a TEDx event for an auditorium of people that couldn’t be physically present at the event.

Ubiquity, quantity, and quality of TED

Now that there are more than 1,000 TED Talks (and thousand more from TEDx events), you’ll never run out of amazing and inspiring talks. They’re available online and you can watch TED Talks in so many different ways: within a the web with a browser, using the TED app on the iPad, iPhone, or Android, as a podcast, on the TV as an app in nearly every TV-app environment, and probably more I haven’t experienced. Also, they are piece-meal size – so you can watch in a short taxi ride, on the train home, while exercising, and many more. There are also many ways to find the talks that might interest or inspire you.

Introducing the TED-talk-a-day diet

The idea is very simple: consider for your 2013 New-Year resolution (around the corner) to make a TED Talk a part of your daily diet. What do you have to lose? Not much more than 18 minutes. But I can assure you; those 18 minutes may inspire your entire day, and even change your life vocation. So head on now to make sure you always have some TED Talks with you (iTunes podcast, for instance, or downloaded within the TED App for iOS or Android). Don’t consume them all at once (you can’t, even if you tried) – just make it a manageable part of your daily routine.

You can get started today

So here are 5 great TED Talks to get you started:

There are so many more, you can continue on this diet for a very long time.

One more thought – Inflight Entertainment

I’m writing this post on a flight and realized that aside from my downloaded video podcast TED Talks, there’s no TED-channel on the inflight entertainment system. Hey, United (and other airlines), that’s an idea to consider!

So, what do you think about this new diet? Are you going to adopt it? If you do, share your experience. What are your “must watch” / favorite TED Talks? Let us all learn and be inspired!

8 thoughts on “The TED-Talk-a-Day Diet”

  1. im on the TED diet (just never considered to be a diet) for a while now and recommending it to anyone, somedays i watch more than one, depending on the length of my workout … great post and also great new initiative – medivizor .
    Kol hacavod and good luck !

  2. Delta has TED on their inflight (sometimes). BTW – it is not only for us (grownups). it is amazing how kids are getting fascinated by having top lecturers doing 15min on a subject. Now in our school they imitate it. The new methods of teaching these days is that kids are supposed to have basic knowledge on essential skills + wide general knowledge.

  3. Absolutely wonderful points in your blog, and having been on this diet for 4 years now, i can say the results are true. But may i request adding WHY should one watch TED? This of course may apply more to India where other than youngsters I find it really tough to convince senior business owner types to listen to TED TALKS because of their jurassic park question is “is it related to my subject? how will it help my business?” “which big name is giving the talk?. While i do not want to run down Indian entrpreneurs i think many need some explanation beyond just “spreading good ideas” which the US guys have understood over the decade. So the following has worked and an almost 50% rate of conversion is now being achieved. Your blog will be sent to all to increase the % further. This sort of chronology makes sense to them:
    a) In the Google age for you big business guys, there is more than enough access to tons of knowledge (which is now just free information) plus they have access to the best experts and consultants for their domain areas.
    b) Clearly there is now an OVERLOAD of information and so ideation becomes more important than knowledge. So listening to DOMAIN specific lecture is a cliche and could be boring.
    c) Since the future is not emulating past patterns, where will they get NEW ideas? assuming that domain specific ideas can be sourced from experts from their specific domain and they are anyway the smartest guys on the planet.
    The answer they seem to accept is : The only source of NEW IDEAS/KNOWLEDGE now comes from those people who live and work in an ENVIRONMENT that a normal busy listener could rarely encounter or ever experience.

    This is why we get zapped by TED TALKS. The curators like Chris of TED are geniuses who travel the world, and perfected the art of finding unique heroes who do amazing stuff and we could hardly never ever hope to even bump into such people. THAT is why the comments are indexed as amazing, awesome, jaw dropping etc.

    Finally the passion and committment of TED speakers and specifically those who are selected for their SELFLESS dedication to a cause “makes even the richest guy feel humbled and a little small”. Many TED stories makes one feel silently ashamed of thinking that of what we thought was our big problem is such a minor situation compared to the challenges of the MAJORITY. This is life changing. We leave a TED talk grateful for our position because anyone who has a computer and broadband and time toi listen to a TED talk must firmly believe that he or she is amongst the most fortunate minority on this Earth. THAT is my learning from listening to and witnessing some TED conferences. I hope someone could suggest a better term than “conference”. Keep pushing your diet, our minds now need to be made healthy. Thanks Tal.

  4. Uday,

    You make terrific points. I hadn’t asked myself “why?” I find it so valuable and inspiring (with ideas and motivation for action). I think you may have hit the nail on the head in terms of sort-of a “business justification” to invest this time/effort in such a seemingly-wasteful activity.

    I also wasn’t sure, initially, why I posted in this group about TRIZ. Now it’s becoming clearer to me: TED has continuously provided me lateral thinking inspiration that has allowed me to come up with more and better ideas. Basically, it is also serving me as a thinking and ideation tool.

    Great “food for thought”!

    Uday, may I ask you also to please submit this comment on the blog itself, so that all can read: not just folks in this group. I’d be very rewarded, if this discussion help encourage Indian entrepreneurs to have great ideas and more motivation to “shake our world (for the better)”!

  5. Ilan, I liked that too – used on Twitter 🙂

    Taly, good for you!

    Guy, I don’t fly Delta often, but I think that’s great and others should adopt. I wonder if all TED talks are good for kids – might be a good idea to create a compilation of all those – perhaps TED has already done it, but I never saw such a distinction. Also, TED-talks for kids may have a sort of adjunct curriculum suggested to build one or two into a classroom discussion format? The way I’ve done the weekly TED talk with a group, there was a TED talk followed by a discussion about the topic. For teachers, a “program” might be helpful.

    Nir, cool! Haven’t seen it before. Very nice stuff.

  6. Thanks Tal, as I started a real diet I will add Ted to my daily routine. I already downloaded the android app and several talks I can listen to while walking home.

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