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


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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

Disruptive innovation within the rock 'n roll guitar industry

February 13, 2007, 6:30 AM

Jimi_hendrix Over on the On Disruption blog, software executive and guitar enthusiast Zack Urlocker has posted a great case study of disruptive change within the billion-dollar professional guitar industry. What happens when an upstart competitor from southern California (Line 6) launches a new line of disruptive guitars for Rock 'n Roll musicians? Much as you would expect - the entrenched market leaders (Fender, Gibson) wait and watch, hoping the disruption will go away. However, it looks like the new Variax guitar from Line 6 is starting to gain a toehold within the guitar market, forcing the hand of Fender and Gibson, which control nearly 90% of the market on a combined basis.

The level of detail and research by Urlocker is worthy of a Harvard B-School case study, and there is also a cool guitar-playing video clip as well. (Be sure to check out the YouTube clip and see how many of the songs you can recognize!) At the end of the post, there's a list of four lessons about disruptive innovation:

  1. To compete effectively as a new entrant, you have to change the basis of competition;
  2. Even mature, conservative markets can be disrupted;
  3. Disruptive innovations usually make no sense to the mainstream suppliers or their customers initially;
  4. Incumbents' response to disruption are usually late and insufficient because they must serve and defend their current market position.

[image: Jimi Hendrix]


Disruptive innovation withi...

Newsletter: Share: