Larry Smith

Professor of Economics, University of Waterloo
A professor of economics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Larry Smith coaches his students to find the careers that they will truly love.

Why you should listen

Larry Smith is a professor of economics at University of Waterloo. A well-known storyteller and advocate for youth leadership, he has also mentored many of his students on start-up business management and career development. The most notable start-up he advised in its infancy is Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry.

"What you see in the TED Talk is essentially thirty years of Smith’s frustrations reaching a boiling point," wrote Carmine Gallo in Forbes. “'Wasted talent is a waste I cannot stand,' Smith told me."

Larry Smith’s TED talk

Larry Smith on the TED Blog

Business

Why you need to fail to have a great career

January 23, 2013

At TEDxUW 2011, economics professor Larry Smith gave a memorable talk titled, “Why you will fail to have a great career.” The hilarious talk takes aim at people and the incredible excuses they dream up for not pursuing their passions, from “It’s too hard” to “But I value human relationships more than my work.” His […]

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Culture

Life, in six words: Highlights from our chat with Larry Smith

January 16, 2013

In 2006, Larry Smith issued a challenge to his online community: encapsulate your life in a six-word memoir. It quickly became a phenomenon, with people all around the world chiming in. Smith is still fascinated by the short tales people tell about themselves — especially those told by kids. And so he conceptualized the TED […]

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