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

The innovation arms race

September 20, 2007, 9:47 AM

Burj_dubai With all those petrodollars flowing into the Middle East, it's perhaps no surprise that Dubai has the mega-bucks to pull off this project: the tallest building in the world. Yep, according to Yahoo! News, the oil sheiks of Dubai are putting the finishing touches on the Burj Dubai Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the world. And they aren't even telling people how high the building will be when it's completed -- you know, just in case the folks in Taiwan or Shanghai or Kuala Lumpur or Toronto get any funny ideas about sticking on an antenna or something to create a taller building than the one in Dubai. Every emerging market around the world, it appears, has been engaged in a frantic architectural race to create the world's tallest building.

Burj_dubai_2_2 As the Cold War arms race illustrated, however, trying to outmatch your competitors by building more and more weapons eventually leaves one side bankrupt and on the verge of collapse. In the 1980's, of course, it was the Soviet Union sliding into economic ruin as the result of disastrous overspending on the military-industrial complex.

In a metaphorical sense, is your company also engaged in an "innovation arms race" with a competitor? Are you trying to stockpile more weapons than your rival? Are you trying to build taller castles-in-the-sky to outshine your competitors? If so, you may be setting up your company for failure sometime in the near future.

ASIDE: Is it just me, or does the current tower in Dubai only vaguely resemble the majestic, gleaming structure in the original rendering by the architectural firm?

[images: Burj Dubai Tower then and Burj Dubai Tower now]

 

The innovation arms race

Newsletter: Share: