The Best TED Talks By B-School Professors

2) Harvard Business School’s Michael Norton: “HOW TO BUY HAPPINESS”


Is this information new? 4

The idea that doing nice things for others makes people happy is hardly a new thought, but Norton freshens it up by applying it to cold, hard cash. He tells us to spend money on others not just for the sake of altruism, but for the sake of our own well-being. Watch out, though — there’s a part that will make anyone with a liberal arts degree want to yell, “Correlation is not causation!”

Is the presentation engaging? 5

Norton’s talk prevails where most TED talks falter: it’s concise and to the point.

Is this spicier than a class presentation? 4

Norton comes off like someone you’d want to grab drinks with. Early on, he brings in examples from Internet comments — and we all know what those are like. One commenter said that if he’d won the lottery, he would’ve sent pictures of himself smoking a cigar in a bathtub to anyone who asked for money.

Does it leave viewers with practical takeaways? 4

The talk outlines some very simple ways to get the most happiness out of your money. He even provides a way to make sales teams significantly more efficient (Hint: it involves a pinata).

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