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

Television Commercials Chosen Just For You

December 27, 2012, 9:00 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Gracenote, a company best known for its work with music cataloging, is about to release a new service that replaces standard television commercials -- those that are aired to all viewers regardless of whether they would actually be interested in the products being offered -- with commercials targeted to individual viewers based on publicly available demographic information such as age, gender, and income. A set-top box monitors viewing habits, integrates them with ad decisioning software that gathers personal data, and queries an ad delivery engine to overlay a more relevant commercial.

What's the Big Idea?

Gracenote's service has far-reaching implications for the media industry, says company president Stephen White: "It’s highly, highly disruptive to a $70 billion [television advertising] business...[T]he good news is that broadcasters, TV manufacturers, and tech providers are all working very closely together to find the best way to maximize the revenue opportunities." Alternatively, the technology could allow viewers to take a more active role in what commercials they see or if they see them at all. White adds: "I could pay $20 to see no ads and see photos of my kids in those ad spots." Gracenote will demonstrate the service at this January's International Consumer Electronics Show.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


Television Commercials Chos...

Newsletter: Share: