TED Community » Nilofer Merchant

About Me

Born in India, i came to the US around age 5.

Having been raised in Silicon Valley, I grew up with technology. In fact, the apricot orchards where Apple sits now were the first source of income as my brother, sister and I picked fruit for money. (Being youngest and smallest, i stood at the foot of the tree catching apricots with a baseball glove so we could yield more baskets and earn more money...i earned $.10 on the dollar, which was an early lesson in economics and market power).

Today, i apply the rules of economics and results in business. I am a Strategist and Author. I love creating business strategy that achieves real results. I believe in a transparent, coollaborative approach to solving tough problems while working with and for companies like Adobe, Apple, Nokia, HP and others. I founded and led a multi-million dollar services company. My firm worked with global corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Pinnacle, Logitech, Openwave, Symantec, among others, to create solutions to win markets.

in early 2010, O'Reilly published my book called the New How on how to create better business solutions through collaboration. It's a humanistic way of setting direction and innovating within companies. I'm looking for ways to make this approach commonplace so each voice inside business can be heard and benefit the outcome of that business.

Location:
United States, Los Gatos, CA
Current organization:
Public and Private Ecommerce Companies
Current role:
Corporate Director
Gender:
Female
Areas of expertise:
Business Strategy, Collaboration Management, Technology Marketing, Author - Speaker, Business Model
I am:
Blogger, Business adviser, Business leader, Change Agent, Connector, Entrepreneur, Investor, Marketer, Technologist, Writer/Editor
My website links:
Twitter, Speaker
Universities:
University of Santa Clara, University of San Francisco, De Anza Community College
TED conferences attended:
TED2016, TED2014, TEDWomen 2013, TED2013, TEDGlobal 2012, TED2012, TED2011, TED2010, TEDIndia 2009, TED2009

TEDCRED 200+ TED SpeakerTED Attendee

More About Me

I'm passionate about

Enabling a culture and systems that enable kicking-ass, not kissing-ass.

An idea worth spreading

Moments define, or rather they let us redefine who we are.To deny one¹s past and only focus on aspirations is to be flighty. To only focus on what¹s you¹ve already done is to bounded by history. To neglect aspirations is to deny our ability to create. To forget our humble beginnings is to deny our heritage.

We are always 2 ‹ both our past and our future. In the middle is the creative act we are living.

Companies that live in the future and forget who they¹ve been often lose
their core loyal customer base. But those that only focus on what we've
already done are limiting growth and innovation.

Each of us bound by our past ‹ our accomplishments and our failings ‹ and we
ALSO owe it to yourselves to allow our aspirations and dreams to flourish so
that we can also enable the process of defining who we¹ll be.

Sometimes we weigh too much on one, and yet we are always 2.

Talk to me about

Onlyness, Social Era, Collaboration

People don't know that I'm good at

Backpacking, or hand-making quilts.

Comments

  • TEDCred score: +226.70 TEDCred reflects your contribution to the TED community.

  • A comment on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    May 6 2013: Did I ever say this was a new idea?

    What I did say is how we frame things results in change. Yes, the weather can be an impediment. And I could list out at least 10 more obstacles without even pausing. Looks like you could be good at that, too.

    Find a way to reframe a situation so you find a solution that works. Let's turn our creative energies there.
  • A reply on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    May 6 2013: That thing that takes hours to do, requires special equipment and costs something? Yes I know of it. So do others.
  • A reply on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    May 6 2013: you are most welcome. ;-))
  • +5

    A reply on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    May 6 2013: Hey Raheel - I used to worry about same thing. First I took pieces of paper and devices along to make sure to capture key things. Now, as we're getting close to the end of a talk, I just say ... so let's make sure we remember key things we both need to do, and of course we remember just fine. The other "trick" to this memory thing is to say to the other person when you hear an idea or something you want to remember. "Help me remember that..." and why you want to. Not only will it invite someone else to be a better collaborator (never a bad thing), it will embed the idea even more deeply within your consciousness. Hope all that helps.
  • A reply on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    May 6 2013: Ah, this is the same model that Tony Schwartz, of the Energy project, recommends. Figuring out how to do work so you maximize your creativity and energy requires intention. More from his ideas here: http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2011/12/how-to-accomplish-more-by-doin.html
  • A reply on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    May 2 2013: I wish you were MY high school teacher!
  • A reply on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    May 2 2013: Charles Duhigg's book on habits says you can change if you replace one thing with another. In this case, it's not about eliminating the car, it's about switching from coffee meetings to walking meetings. The book is Habits -- been on NYT best seller list from 2012 on. Worth checking out.
  • A reply on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    May 2 2013: wow, that's compelling. Thanks for sharing it.
  • +7

    A comment on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    Apr 30 2013: A lot of people have asked the question, how do you take notes when you are doing a walkntalk, etc. or what about bringing along whiteboards? ... Thoughts on those threads here:

    http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/03/how-technology-can-make-us-stand-up/
  • A reply on Talk: Nilofer Merchant: Got a meeting? Take a walk

    Apr 30 2013: Love this! Thanks for caring about yourself .... I remember the book Connected (whose speakers were on the TED stage a few years back)... and they said that your friends' friends' friends would be fitter if you were. So really you're affecting a lot of people with your positive change.

    More details on this idea:
    http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/01/sitting_is_the_smoking_of_our_generation.html
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