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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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Risk-Taker Consumers Fueling Tech Innovation

May 10, 2011, 6:57 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Amar Bhidé, in his book, “The Venturesome Economy,” shows that American consumers, businesses and individuals alike, are inordinately willing to take a gamble on new products. And it's thanks to them that the U.S. regularly produces companies like Dropbox.

What's the Big Idea?

Amar Bhidé uses the term “venturesome consumers" for the particularly large number of people who are willing to do something like hand over their precious data to a brand-new startup. The New Yorker says that venturesome consumers also provide companies with feedback that helps improve products and even "repurpose" them. In the process, the value of the innovations themselves increases. "In that sense, our culture of innovation depends on consumers as much as on entrepreneurs."

Risk-Taker Consumers Fuelin...

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