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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Like Moths to the Light: Don't Get Seduced by Innovation

July 1, 2013, 12:49 PM

People who work inside companies always want to be part of what’s new. If you look at Apple for example, once they’ve developed a product, 99 percent of the people inside Apple work collectively to deliver on that product.  There are only two or three with the propellers on their heads hiding in some place in the company inventing the next one. 

Being focused on delivering on that outcome is really, really important.  You can get easily distracted by the next thing, the next thing, the next thing. 

I think a lot of times companies get distracted and diluted because they’re continually chasing the shiny light and the moth goes to the light.  And we’re all moths.  We want to go to the light.

The challenge is that what we need are an army of people to deliver on the today.  And I think having a set of people inside the company who are also excited about doing the day-in, day-out relentless focus on delivering on a product that has already been developed is equally important to having the few people that are envisioning, ideating on the product of tomorrow. 

You need to have both, but I think it’s easy to move over to the other side which is we always need the new, the new thing. 

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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