A Wildly-Oversimplified Summary Of What The TED Conference Is Like

Most conferences get well-known people to speak and sell tickets to lesser-known people. At TED, the opposite is true. Many of the speakers are undiscovered or super-niche and many of the attendees are famous people.

You’ll be walking around, eating beef jerky, wondering who you’ll chat with next and, boom, one of the Google founders is hanging out, eating the same beef jerky, and basically is not doing shit. He has like $40 Billion in his checking account, but you can just go chat with him like you’re old buddies and you own the island next to his.

There were a bunch of TED talks each day, with breaks and activities in between sessions.

The thing about the breaks, though, is that they weren’t really breaks. When a speaker session would let out, I’d attempt to go grab a Nutella donut (yes, that’s a thing) and sit down to process the previous two hours of mind-stretching speeches. But, what would actually happen is that I’d get sucked into a great conversation with somebody else in the donut line. Very often, that person had invented a thing that I use everyday and they would start telling me about what the future is going to look like in 10 years.

It was wild. There are TED talks in the snack lines at TED. It blew my little mind.