About this presentation

How does a life-long solo act join a creative team? Comedian and author Baratunde Thurston walks us through his own journey from lone standup comic to Director of Digital at The Onion. He shares his insights for pushing projects to completion and the lessons he learned while working with skeptical teammates. The key, he says, is to not confuse using tools with creativity.

After sharing lessons from his own career, Thurston recaps the 2012 99U Conference the only way he knows how: by making us laugh.

:30 - About Baratunde's blog, Jack and Jill Politics
1:01 - "I learned one thing about the future: Black people will be there."
1:50 - His time as an editor at the Onion
2:07 - His New York Times best-selling book, How to Be Black
2:38 - Baratunde's history with Making Ideas Happen using solo projects: inspiration with sheer willpower
3:09 - In high school: an entrepreneur is born.
4:03 - Embodying the Swine Flu on Twitter, and following those who were afraid of the disease.
4:58 - "Hate blogging" Twilight movies
5:58 - Teamwork at the Onion was a new twist. How to go from a solo act to a team player
7:20 - Focusing too much on process when trying to make change within the Onion
8:02 - Writing a book is a solo act. But getting people to read it requires a team.
8:45 - Writing the book in public.
9:50 - Don't get obsessed with process.
11:00 - Recapping the 2012 99U Conference

About Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde is a politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future. He co-founded the black political blog, Jack & Jill Politics, serves as Director of Digital for The Onion and is a regular guest on Leo Laporte's TWiT. His book, How To Be Black, was published in February 2012 and is a New York Times Best Seller. Basically, he's a smart, funny, extremely handsome dude.

About the 99U Conference

When inspiration strikes, ideas flow freely. But seeing those ideas through to completion is another thing entirely. That's why 99U focuses on the hard part — idea execution. Every May, we bring together a handful of the world's most productive creative visionaries and researchers to share pragmatic insights on how to push great ideas forward, create incredible art, build businesses, and change the world.

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