TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading -- through TED.com, our annual conferences, the annual TED Prize and local TEDx events.
The original main conference got so big that it branched out into several different local conferences around the world, sometimes with different themes or discussions. But always the important point is that the speakers are by invite only, they get no more than 18 minutes and their task is to speak about something that is the most important thing to them.
Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth began as a speech at TED. Other famous examples include Tony Robbins, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs and numerous others. All the videos are available online and some collections are available through Netflix. They are a big deal.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I learned that someone I knew had done a TEDx speech at a local St. Louis conference. Stephanie Leffler was the CEO and driving force behind MonsterCommerce when I started working there. Actually, I think she was the sales director when I interviewed and she was my first face-to-face interview. Very soon after that, her and her partner Ryan Noble would become the sole owners and leadership for the company, and would drive it's success skyward. She was part of the hardest-working team I've ever worked on hands down.
I'll never forget that first interview in 2003, when she asked me the "where do you see yourself in five years" question. I joked that if it worked out, I honestly saw myself working at the same company for as long as possible. Three years and many layers of success later, the company was sold to Network Solutions. The two of them stayed on for many months making the transition of leadership as smooth as possible. By the time my five year anniversary had come along, I was still working there. She was not. She and Ryan took some time to themselves, and have been working hard on Juggle, CrowdSource and other projects ever since.
Congratulations to Steph!