So TEDxMumbai happened on 3rd April at Blue Frog – and it was a smashing hit!

We had 180+ attendants who were raving about the event. A lot of the speakers actually got standing ovations (a very rare thing in India)! And we had 17,759 views of the live online streaming video of the event!

Now that the event has been so successful, let me take this space to answer to 2 objections that kept on popping up during the days we were putting the event together.

Why go with the TED brand? Why not just create a new event and give it a new name?

Quite a few people have asked this. Most of them didn’t know what TED.com was. Its a legit question because a TEDxMumbai license does come with some restrictions. But the restrictions are nothing compared to the benefits the TED brand brings.

Apple took 18 months to sell 1 million units of their iPod. But just 1 week to sell 1 million units of their iPhones. By the time iPhones were launched, Apple had already built the traction they required to make big things happen quickly.

This is the big benefit we received from going with a TEDx license. TED has already done a lot of the hard work in creating traction that we could leverage.

People weren’t impressed with the speakers before the event

Except Anupam Kher, none of the other speakers were very famous.  People didn’t recognize their names. And because they didn’t recognize the names, they weren’t impressed with the list of speakers.  We had quite a few folks complaining about the speaker list on twitter and facebook.  And we know of at least a few people who didn’t apply for TEDxMumbai because they thought the speaker lineup wasn’t upto the mark.

We couldn’t say much about it before the event except tell people that very few of the TED speakers were popular before they got on the TED platform too.  And that we were focusing on awesome people with awesome ideas.  Not famous people with mediocre ideas.

And so I’m glad that the speakers out performed everyones expectations. Quite a few of them got standing ovations.  Well earned standing ovations.  There was not a single person who said that the speaker lineup wasn’t good — after the event! The speakers rocked the stage. And hopefully soon they will rock the interwebs too – once their videos are put up on youtube.

April 7, 2010