Farhan Thawar speaks at TEDxToronto about "Redefinition"

October 4, 2011 Pivotal Labs


On September 23rd, TEDxToronto featured 14 speakers gathered to discuss the topic of ‘Redefinition’ at the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning. This broad topic allowed for various interpretations by the individual speakers.

Representing Xtreme Labs at TEDxToronto was our VP of Engineering, Farhan Thawar who took on the challenge of redefining the smartphone. In a marketplace that is saturated with mobile applications there are now several silos through which our friends, family, and co-workers can connect with us. Farhan points out that when someone asks if you’ve received their message, you question to which silo it was sent. Rather than checking your two email accounts, Twitter, Facebook, SMS, BlackBerry Messenger, etc… what if you could aggregate all interactions in a unified place? Well Xtreme Labs is working on something that allows you to do this. Imagine all your private and public notifications in one place, separated from one another according to your contacts. It would almost be too easy.

Being social is about people and the relationships you form, not apps. So instead of filling the gaps in our social lives with numerous apps we need to realize that social is not an app- the phone itself is social we just have to make it do what we want. Our favorite part of the demo: When he took a picture of the audience and within seconds it was uploaded directly to Facebook- no attachments required.

Others speakers like Adam Garone, the Founder of Movember, redefined what being a leader meant by praising those who have the courage to follow a silly trend; a moustache for example. Branden Hay, founder of the Black Daddies Club, is working to redefine the attitudes and perceptions of fathers in the Black Community. Others redefined the institution, hospital food, and Bilaal Rajan redefined what we should owe to one another as human beings.

In the past Xtreme Labs has shown its support of TEDx through the passionate and inspiring people that we employ here. Farhan Thawar not only spoke at TEDxToronto, but also spoke at TEDxSiliconNorth in May. The topic here was “Path to Innovation”, where he spoke about the intrinsic benefit of innovative and flexible workplaces. Boris Chan, a Principal in Product Development at the Labs has also taken time to speak at TEDxYouth in Toronto last November. The topic of “Find Your Passion” allowed Boris to inspire the youth of today to seize the opportunities of tomorrow.

If you are unfamiliar with what TEDx is, here is what you need to know.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At TEDx events, video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

We all know that one small idea can change the world. TEDx offers the people who come up with these ideas a stage to shout their gospel from.

To find a stage near you check out http://www.ted.com/tedx

Other links:

Farhan @ TEDxSiliconNorth: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDxSiliconNorth#p/a/u/0/2ric-6jNl7s

Boris @ TEDxYouth Toronto: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxYouthToronto-Boris-Chan-Xtr

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