Tag Archives: TED2013

Want a Pair of Google Glasses: Just Write a Convincing Essay

One of the co-founders of Google, Sergey Brin, was on stage at TED2013 talking about Google Glasses. It’s like a smartphone, but in a pair of glasses. If you haven’t yet seen Google’s latest promotional video, you’re probably going to want to check it out:

Cool, eh?

One would have to imagine that the possibilities for use are endless. Can you imagine putting these on athletes, say baseball players, and watching the gameplay from their perspective. Obviously, we’re a long way off from that (or are we?), but it’s fun to think about the potential uses. Anyway, in this post, I wanted to talk about something I read in an article about Google Glasses:

The company will sell the glasses for $1,500 each to people who write a convincing essay on what they will use the glasses for.

This is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Google is getting its customers to evangelize about its product and then ‘rewarding’ them by letting them pay $1,500 to buy the product. More than that, Google is crowdsourcing its customers for ways to market its product. By aggregating the best essays (and the themes of the essays), Google will see best how to market its product to other customers.

Quick Thoughts on Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking, Vulnerability, and Trust

Yesterday, TED posted the TEDTalk of Amanda Palmer. The name sounded vaguely familiar, but because I kept seeing tweets saying that “Palmer Wins TED,” I thought, I’ve gotta watch this talk. So, before I get into some of my thoughts it, I’ll let you watch it.

Apparently, there’s been a big hullabaloo over Palmer accepting $1,000,000 through Kickstarter, but continuing to ask musicians to work for “free.” I’d rather not get into that discussion, but I think it’s important to mention before moving on.

Amanda Palmer: A big congratulations! This TEDTalk certainly created news yesterday. For some, it’s because she didn’t answer questions that some had asked regarding the Kickstarter funds, for others, because she raised some important ideas about the music business. It’s certainly not easy to challenge mainstream ideas and even harder to do so with so many people who think you’re wrong (and are shouting that at you).

The Art of Asking: For some, there is nothing harder than asking for help. Asking for what you’re worth. People who are just starting their own business often have lots of problems trying to figure out just how much they should charge. Much of this has to do with psychology and our ideas of self-worth, but there’s also the cultural stereotype that it’s not okay to ask. It’s so great that Amanda could demonstrate how asking is not something to be afraid of.

Vulnerability: On the topic of asking… I remember reading about people who pose as beggars — not for the money, but to gain the experience of what it’s like to beg or ask for money. It’s not something that I’ve done, but after watching this TEDTalk, it’s an experience that I think is certainly worth considering. It might shatter stereotypes of what it’s like to ask for help and would certainly foster a greater sense of empathy.

Trust: Without getting too much into a philosophical discussion, it’s great to see a tangible example of someone who “trusts the flow of life,” and is rewarded for it.