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The Most Dangerous Question On Earth by Bryan Franklin (Transcript)

Full text of Bryan Franklin on The Most Dangerous Question On Earth at at TEDxSinCity conference. 

Listen to the MP3 Audio: TEDxSinCity – Bryan Franklin – The Most Dangerous Question On Earth


So I’m here to speak to the world’s entrepreneurs and for those of you that don’t self-identify as an entrepreneur. I know you’re in a shrinking crowd. But for those of you, I actually want to talk to the entrepreneurial spirit that’s within you.

So for you really I have three messages today and these messages are designed to prepare you for a question. A question that can be so powerful that it can ruin your life and set you free.

Thank you

So my first message is Thank You. Really really thank you. At your core, you’ve made a decision to give more than you take. And not like a passive decision, you’re actually staking your well-being, your livelihood on that decision, that you’re going to be a giver. You will give to the world more than you take. Create more value than you capture.

And you know, to be an entrepreneur you have to become very curious about how value is exchanged between human beings and then master creating that value in giving and giving and giving.

Professional giving used to be reserved only for like churches and foundations but now you are a professional giver. And you’re getting better at it.

So right now I’ve got more resources, information, technology, connectivity, connection than the U.S. government had when I was born. And I’ve got it for free. And the reason I have it for free is because of your giving spirit. So thank you.

I’ve been a musician — I don’t know – since I was about five years old and I climbed up on a piano bench and I plunked out the melody to Beethoven’s Night. And this surprised my parents and they were asking me about it and I was telling them, isn’t it great that there’s always new music in your head all the time and that surprised them even more.

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See, I didn’t realize that I was the only one that could hear it. Now I am not sure exactly how that happened. That’s me I’m 0 years old but you actually have the same thing. There’s a vision of the world. There’s a world that only you can see and some of you have that vision really well articulated and some not but everybody’s got one.

Everybody has a future a different world than the one we’re living in that only you can see. It shows up every time you notice that something isn’t good, or isn’t easy, fun, accurate, automated, helpful. Every time you see a problem you’re comparing the world that you’ve got in your head that only you can see with the one that we’ve got here.

Now some of you are dedicated to closing that gap. You’ve built companies. You’re starting movements, or you’re just generally being like a cool person to each other more and more now. So thank you.

The second message is that I’d like you to pay more attention to what it means to lead. But look around, notice something that you really value; something that impresses you; something you rely on. Some remarkable thing you probably take for granted.

The fact that it’s here is a testament to someone else’s leadership. This thing that here now and we were having discussion just the other night and like, you know, things we take for granted, like a pillow, well that pillow had to be invented. That pillow has touched tens of thousands of hands to get to your bed. And if you track it back to the first set of hands, that first set of hands belong to someone who saw a world that we didn’t see. They saw it and then they started to lead.

So listen, I trust you. I want you to be a better leader because I want your version of the world to be the one I’m living in. Everything good about what we’ve got, we owe to leadership. And it’s true that the world is not all perfect. I mean we’ve heard about education and what’s wrong with education. We’ve heard about health. The fact that there’s now more obese people than fat people and more fat people than healthy people in this country. But all of that is due to a failure in leadership. So we collectively, we need to get better at it. We need to understand leadership and get better at it.

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I want people’s hearts and minds change when you speak. I want the walls that confine them that prevent them from having what they want and being who they want to be, I want those walls to disappear when you speak because they see you walk through them. But in order for that to happen, you’re going to need to dedicate yourself to being a better leader.

So if I can get your word on that, I’d like you to stand up now.


Now something interesting just happened. Because some of you stood up out of a commitment to lead and some of you just stood up because the guy on stage said, hey, stand up. That’s okay. You know who you are. I am not going to make a big deal out of it. You can sit down.

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