About a week ago, we had the amazing opportunity to listen to the year 13s sharing their ideas. This was the second TEDx conference I attended. For the first TEDx conference, the speakers were all adults who presented their ideas and experiences, but this time it was our fellow peers from year 13s. The talk that I found most interesting was about entrepreneurship by Philippe Pangestu. This was because I’m currently starting my own business with my friend. When I told my friends about my new business, not a lot of people believed in me saying it’s a waste of time. Even my mother told me it’s a waste of time saying I should be fully committed to studying. After hearing that so many times, I was actually thinking of quitting, but when I listened to Philippe’s talk, I was motivated again to continue starting my business.
Philippe mentioned that almost 95% of start-ups fail and 5% succeeds. The 5% succeeds because it is nurtured and unique. Also, when it comes to ideas it’s not about who does it first, but it’s about who does it better. Even if you come up with a brilliant idea, it’s probably been already taken by 100s of other people. In order to succeed in start-ups, you need to know the audience. The people are the ones that will be using the products and you need to fully understand them. How do they behave with certain things? Why would they want to use it?
What are the Areas of Knowledge?
Ethics, History, Maths, Arts, Natural Science, Human Science, Religious Knowledge Systems, Indigenous Knowledge Systems
As business requires to study the human behavior, Human Science would be one of the areas of knowledge. Human Science is the study of humanities and social sciences, but also includes psychology and even mathematics, as the key thing concerned is how we gather information in the study of human behavior.
Knowledge framework can be used to explore an individual area of knowledge and also make comparisons between areas of knowledge. The five parts to the framework are:
- Scope and Applications
- Key concepts and Language
- Key historical development
- Links with personal knowledge
Philippe mentioned that he has already developed an application called “Vivere”, which is a social platform to connect older adults living independently who suffer from depression with others sharing similar profiles and interests in the same locale. He has started this project during his MIT workshop and by working together with his team, Vivere was launched. His team consisted of 5 students including him and they all had different specific jobs. As everyone in his team had different jobs, they also had different scopes. What are their aims? To what extent can this benefit the society? From the team, Philippe was in charge of marketing. He used his knowledge gained from school to make this application known to people in the area of Boston.
What are the Ways of Knowing?
Emotion, Faith, Memory, Reason, Language, Intuition, Imagination, Sense Perception
The two WOK Philippe used were Imagination and Memory.
Imagination: Don’t we always get brilliant ideas and find out it’s already been taken by someone else? Well trying to think of a unique idea every time will not be useful at all as it is really hard to. Instead of trying to think of a brand new idea, Philippe said “It’s not about who does it first, it’s about who does it better”. Let’s take Vivere (Philippe’s startup) as an example. Vivere isn’t a new “thing”. It’s been developed from a dating app called “Tinder”, but with its own unique style. Philippe had an imagination to do something about the issues about the older adults with depression, so he decided to do something about it. When people imagine something, it’s only in their mind. What gets business started is this imagination. Another real life example is Bill Gates. Bill Gates had an imagination to do something about billions of people not having access to clear water. This is why now he developed a new filtering system which allows contaminated water to become drinking water. My knowledge question would be to what extent can imagination create knowledge?
Reason: In Philippe’s presentation, he mentioned that pivots are as important as the idea. If a startup is successful, there’s always a reason behind it and pivots are a factor that is the success of the startup. When the first business model isn’t working, the team pivots to plan b. Pivots can allow to discover additional growth. Some examples of famous business are Starbucks, Nokia, Instagram and Pinterest. All of these companies’ initial business model didn’t work, so they ended up pivoting to the next model, which they all found success on.
The best part of this talk was that it motivated me to continue my startup. I have learnt a lot of things from this talk which I wasn’t aware of. I’m fascinated to see how there are so many ideas worth sharing. I really enjoyed this year’s TEDx talk and I hope to go to another if I’m given the opportunity!