Ora’s Favourite Ted Talks of 2016

Continuing our trend of Ora’s Favourites of 2016, we’re looking at our top Ted Talks. We covered a bunch over the course of 2016 so this is a collection of the most entertaining and enlightening talks that we think are must-watches. Check them all out below.

“How Airbnb Designed for Trust” – Joe Gebbia

Joe Gebbia, co-founder and current CPO of Airbnb, made an extremely bold move when Airbnb was in its early stages. He believed that complete strangers were able to trust one and another through the use of good design. 

“The Happy Secret to Better Work” – Shawn Achor

In this fast moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor joined TED to share his thoughts on how we view happiness and how we could be looking at in the wrong way. 

“Live a Life with no Regrets” – Urzila Carlson

South African turned New Zealand funny woman Urzila Carlson took to the TED stage to share her wisdom with her fellow Kiwis. She urges people to make the most of the opportunities before them and that there is no greater waste of time than regrets. 

“Inside the Mind of a Procrastinator” – Tim Urban

One of our favourite talks on TED, popular blogger Tim Urban explores the mind of a procrastinator and encourages us to really think about what it is we’re procrastinating on – before it’s too late.

“Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Best Resume” – Regina Hartley

With HR being at the core of all businesses, this choice was a no-brainer. Regina Hartley shares her experiences from Director of Human Recourses for United Postal Service and argues, that when it comes to hiring, every applicant should have a chance. 

“What Happens When You Reply to Spam Emails” – James Veitch

Comedian James Veitch, has had ongoing battles with spam emails. What better way to solve the problem then to reply to the scammers, record the results, and share it with the world in one hilarious TED Talk.

Is Your Business Doing Fine?


You’ve done the hard yards. You’ve set up your business, you bought the property, you hired the staff, stocked the shelves and everything is running smoothly. But after a while you get use to the daily routine of waking up, doing the 9-5, coming home, eating dinner and going to sleep. Rinse and repeat. But before long you start to flat line and before you know it, boom, every work day is a drag and you feel reluctant to do what you really want.

But what is stopping you from doing what it is you want ? Well, the answer is simple and it’s one word. FINE. Every response has this evil four lettered word. And to quote Mel Robbins “Here’s the deal with saying you’re fine: It’s actually genius. Because if you’re fine, you don’t have to do anything about it”

So the question is, if you’re fine, is your business doing fine and are you pushing the inner snooze button on growth? If you are then maybe it’s time to make that change. Now getting what you want is simple but note that I didn’t say it was easy.

So if this sounds familiar, maybe it’s for a change. So what we did was find a great TED Talk that could help you break those routines. Mel Robbins delivers a great talk on how you can make a change and basically stop screwing yourself over. Check it out below.




How to Have a Better Conversation

Conversation is a part of human nature. We’ve been communicating for as long as we can remember. Conversation is an opportunity to meet someone new, bond over common interests, share stories, learn something new and feel that spark of connection.

Now, I think conversation is a skill that we all claim we’re good at or at least can ‘participate’ in. Regardless of how good our banter is, we can all move our mouths and communicate with the person next to us. But what if the conversations that we’re having aren’t that great? What if we’re not actually really paying attention to the person who’s telling us what they did last weekend or what happened to them when they went overseas last month?

In this world, which every conversation has the potential to break out into an argument, everyone has a point of view and are less likely to compromise, it means we’re not listening to each other. We make decisions about crucial life choices, like who we marry, who our friends are and where we live, based on what we already believe. Again showing that we aren’t listening. Conversation requires a balance of talking and listening, and somewhere along the way we lost that balance.

Celeste Headlee, who has worked as a radio host for decades, knows the special herbs and spices to a great conversation. Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. Check out her Ted Talk below as she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations.


Enjoyed this talk? Head on over to Ted to watch more. There’s a topic on almost everyhting.

The Happy Secret to Better Work

In today’s world, a lot of what we have is never enough. We get that new smartphone we’ve always wanted but then we’re told we have got to get a better one. We get a new car but, we’ve got to get a better one to keep up with the neighbours. Got a new job? Great! Now we’ve got to get a better job.

If we’re raised to believe that if we work hard and get a good job we can do the things we want and get the things we want, we’ll be happy. But if we’re always changing the goal post to believe that there is always something better, are we pushing happiness over the horizon?

Psychologist Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc., took to the Ted Stage to share his thoughts & finding to show that happiness inspires us to be more productive. Take a look at his fast moving and very funny talk below.


Enjoyed this talk? Head on over to Ted and have browse. There’s something for everyone.

How Airbnb Designs for Trust

On my trip to the states last year, I had a 4 night stay in Los Angeles before I flew home to Auckland. Now, with me being on a tight budget, I didn’t particularly want to spend a huge amount of change on staying in a hotel. So what did I do? I turned to Airbnb. I’d had great success in using the house sharing app before in cities like Boston and New York, now I was hoping to continue the trend in the City of Angels. During my 4 night stay in the heart of Venice beach I was taken back by the level of hospitality I received from my host. This was someone who clearly didn’t mind opening his home to complete strangers and enjoyed showing what his home town had to offer, but I’m more than sure that the extra cash helping with the rent was also very enticing.

But as I sat in my Uber which was taking me from what felt like my new found home to LAX, I couldn’t help but think why would someone do this? Letting strangers into their homes and seeing things that are normally kept private to the rest of the world? Where was this trust coming from? With over 123 million hosted nights (and counting), that’s a lot of trust going around.

Well thankfully Joe Gebbia, co-founder and CPO of Airbnb, decided to join TED earlier this year and explain the origins of Airbnb and how he bet his whole company on the belief that people can trust each other through the use of good design.

Check out his interesting talk below.

If you enjoyed this talk and are looking for more, head over to TED and have a look!

The Biggest Reason Why Businesses Succeed

Some companies succeed, some fail. Is it luck of the draw? Or are there certain factors that come into play? Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, became curious as to why some of the companies he helped found, succeeded and failed.

He decided to dive a little deeper and start pulling the data from these companies and ranked them on 5 key factors. He found that one factor stood out from the rest. Watch his Ted Talk below to find what that was.

Head on over to Ted if you liked this talk. There’s a talk on almost everything!

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