Topic for TEDx talk?

Let’s assume you get the offer to give a TEDx talk to students, what would your topic be?
Would it be some life lessions, sharing a story that changed who you are or something else?

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FIRE might be an interesting topic for them.
I’ll just brainstorm an idea, it’s not super cogent yet but think could be an interesting starting point :slight_smile:

One thing that would be cool is to talk about quasi-exponential growth and compound interest.

Most people deep down don’t understand “exponential” growth. They are surprised when, for example, Covid-19 cases suddenly surge. They don’t understand that the reproduction number going from 1 to 1.1 requires little but means everything.

It would be cool to visualize such growth, how it can seem inconsequential for a long time and then suddenly become really important.
Then you could make the link to personal investing. Why time in the market is important. And why it matters a lot whether you make 1% returns or 5%.


In a year or so when I’m a bit more comfortable with the topic I’d probably talk about some ways to take notes that will be useful for a few decades. I’m currently deep into the note taking thing and really happy with (seriously, check it out!).

Right now I’d talk about studying for exams with Anki. I’m regularly saddened by how little the students I talk with know about spaced repetition, active recall and the likes, even though learning is pretty much their job. I’m happy to explain more if there’s some interest…


I gave a few talks to high school students in Italy. I titled it “how to win the game” and essentially showed them how to get a “dream job” in FAANG. Critical thinking, coding challenges, growth mindset blah blah blah but it was 3 hours long. The message was “you are in charge of your future. You can kick asses and become wealthy in less than 10 years”

I planned to give a second talk “how to quit the game”, which is the FIRE part. Essentially that yeah, there’s this money and status game, but once you win, you don’t have to play it anymore (unless you genuinely enjoy it). I haven’t completed the preso yet…

But then I discovered Naval Ravikant. In the “how to get rich without being lucky” 3.5 hours podcast he deployed a 100 times better version than my “how to win the game”, and in his recent podcast with Tim Ferriss he kind of said the exact words “you should quit the game once you won”. And it’s a 2 hours podcast centered around the fact that money is important, but there’s an amount which is “enough”, and you should find it and switch to a more balanced life and yada yada yada… this guy anticipated me :frowning:

Amazing podcast btw, ultra-recommended!


Link bitte? :slight_smile:

Let me Google it for you:

This is How to Get Rich Without Being Lucky on YT, here is the transcript, here is the original Tweetstorm.

This is Naval & TIM podcast. Here is the transcript.

You’re welcome


I skimmed thorugh the tweetstorm and transcripts and it seems that I’ve already read that stuff somewhere. Motivational but I feel it won’t change my life reading it. Maybe because I already know that and I"m just looking for a way to do that?
Who knows.

Thanks a lot. I did now know about both tools. Have been writing all my notes in markdown files already. So Obsidian is quite interesting.

I think I would talk about job, happiness, education and finances. In particular that it’s okay to quit a shitty job even after a few months already. The times where we are expected to spend decades with one company are over.

  • Regarding jobs, my stand is that a company can be glad that I’m willing to sacrifice my time and energy for their cause. Salary is a compensation, not a reward.
  • Education is what enables me to say “a company can be thankful to have ME”. Without education, you have to be thankful if anyone wants to employ you.
  • Happiness and how it’s not linked to salary at all. I was the happiest when I earned 70k in a fun job right after graduating. Then I upgraded to a more serious 90k job and I was completely miserable. Now at 100k in a startup, which for that startup is a decent salary usually for seniors only.
  • And regarding finances the most important thing is: Don’t spend more than you absolutely have to. Money does not buy things. Money buys the freedom and it’s traded for people’s time. With enough money, you no longer have to trade in your precious time.

Agree on everything but this. It‘s all about experience and willingness to learn new things ans applying best practices. I have been in IT for less than a decade, not even a Bachelor degree, employed as a senior and I‘ve worked with people with all kind of degrees (even ETH master) and well it‘s not like I have to hide. I hate this bias to degrees, most with degrees I worked with agreed that they don‘t mean much. With shortage in IT it‘s stupid to only look at applications from people with higher degrees and you get people with similar backgrounds and ways how to do things.

thank you for this, I checked it out. Interesting.

I feel a bit saddened, though, that startups need to use so many buzzwords and exaggerations.
A “second brain”, seriously ? these are structured text files with hyperlinks. Tim Berners-Lee says hello :smiley:

I am glad that the “forced into the cloud” tendency is perhaps going away, but I am not sure that it deserves the word “forever” just because it is in plain text on your hard drive. Did people really forget that there was no “cloud” for most of the history of personal computing ?

Any ways, I like the tool :slight_smile:

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