TED- the swagger and the slink

28 Feb 2006|Lee Shupp

I spent much of last week at the annual TED conference in Monterrey, CA, and it was truly inspiring. There were many truly great presentations, and lots of stimulating conversation. Once again I’ve experienced the TED swagger-followed by the TED slink.

The TED swagger comes on Wednesday (Day One), when you walk into the conference to register, weaving between all of the famous movers and shakers in technology, entertainment, and design. You strut up to get your badge thinking to yourself, “This is so cool- I’m one of the elite TEDsters getting to mix and mingle with some of the smartest people around!” It’s exhilarating, with the expectation of so much brainfood and so many new ideas to munch on for months to come.

The TED slink comes around Saturday noon (Day Four), as you check out of your hotel and slink to your car, thinking to yourself, “I’m such a LOSER! I haven’t founded a successful company, invented a great new idea, or done anything massively altruistic to make the world a better place… I’d better get off my behind and DO something unbelievably cool, and SOON!” All of the great things you’ve been telling yourself that you’ve been doing amount to… well, not so much.

I’ve always believed that it’s a really good thing to get your mind blown from time to time. It’s hugely motivating to see what people who are the best in their fields are doing and thinking. Whole lifetimes of commitment, dedication, perspiration, and accomplishment go into those 18 minute presentations, and you can see how people can really make a difference in the world.

I hope that someday I can contribute something at that level. The bar is certainly high. Thanks to TED for another great year, and helping me to dream bigger dreams.

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