What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Godin: a good product, but a bad launch

September 26, 2009, 12:21 AM

There’s a pretty big kerfuffle going on about marketing guru Seth Godin’s recent launch of Squidoo brand communities.

Godin launched a service that aggregated the conversation occuring about companies in the social space and provided the brands a sidebar next to the content to address the various statements made.

Someone tweets badly about your brand? Just write next to the entry on squidoo that you’re working on the issue, or that this individual is a looney tune.

Pretty good idea, if you ignore that you are responding in a different medium than the complaint was filed in, on a site that has no third party validity, and that is an excercise in futility. But I will ignore that, primarily because Godin probably could have pulled it off and created a site third parties used to validate information.

Godin launched this program with a business model (companies pay $400 to own the sidebar next to all of this content and be able to respond to issues), and that was his fundamental problem. He realized the validity of his value prop and created the project, but missed the fact that we would view this fully baked idea as exploitation rather than participation in the community.

To see how Squidoo brand communities could have been a massive success, one just has to look at Get Satisfaction. Here’s the model:  1) find a massive need that consumers of companies have, 2) build an amazing application for it and get consumers to use and like the solution, and 3) charge companies for it.

Do all three, in order, and you are a hero of the next web, ushering in the future — skip number 2 and you are a brandjacker, preying on the fears that large companies have of not being able to control the conversation. Sad, but this is the case, even if you know what your business model is likely to be, it still pays to release your MVP early, for free, and get customers used to the service while learning from their interactions.

Godin should have published the brand communities feature with an ad-supported sidebard and then rolled out the solution for companies to buy that sidebar from advertisers. He would have had a much bigger winner on his hands had he done that.

Seth’s backed off, and that’s a bummer, because aggregating comments and sentiment about brands is a valuable service. I wish him the best of luck in continuing to innovate in this space and hope that through direct outreach he’s able to get many brands involved, because this service is only massively interesting if it can serve as the consumer’s one stop shop to get information about all brands it is thinking about doing business with.

 

Godin: a good product, but ...

Newsletter: Share: