My friend Nikhil has written a lot about experiences. Even back in 2016, he had an insight that as tech makes everything cheap, the last thing to be commoditized will be authentic IRL experiences. And unlike many internet thinkers, he has ‘walked the walk’ on this thesis and has since organized a series of experimental meatspace events. The goal of this was to innovate beyond the current set of social options (which are often exclusive or alcohol-centric).
I’ve attended many, and the results range widely. Some of the event formats were true failures (a boring scavenger hunt). Some were fun, but not exactly repeatable (recreating ‘Hot Ones’ comes to mind here).
But I think he has a hit on his hands with Peer-To-Peer TED Talks.
The format is simple: get a big room and select volunteers to prepare 15 minute presentations on topics they’re passionate about (that’s not work-related). And enjoy.
Low-stakes public speaking is rare, and I found it fun both to watch and to speak. I learned from others about hip-hop, religious cults (from a former member), and end-of-life planning. It was completely wide-ranging.
I also gave a talk about a topic I have a weird amount of experience in — Craigslist deals. (If you know me well, you may know my strange affinity for Craiglist and secondhand goods. I’ve probably done 50+ deals, mostly audio equipment.) So I distilled my years of experience into a silly, but information-dense presentation I called ‘The Art Of The Craigslist Deal.” I even devised a proprietary mnemonic system so you’ll never forget it.
You can see my whole deck here.
It ended up being the most fun I’ve had public speaking. So if you’re in NYC, I recommend coming to Nikhil’s next P2P TED Talk. I think you’ll see what I mean.