What’s something interesting about TED that I wouldn’t think to ask about?
That it was originally started by Richard Saul Wurman in a conversation format: two interesting people who often don't know each other from different fields facing each other and talking to each other while the audience listens and Richard keeps it on track.
Richard said in a 60 Minutes interview that he did it that way because conversations between people are the best things in life. When I heard that, I hunted him down and got on the phone with him several times about it. He says the current format isn't as interesting to him — rehearsed speeches by one person at a time. I wanted him to help with panel conversations but he doesn't type. He's 88.
He did, however set the time limit at 18 minutes per speech. He chose that time because it sounded precise and and like it had scientific so people would stick to it.