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.

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

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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.

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The Clicks and Mortar of Online Sales

November 29, 2011, 8:30 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Ecommerce now claiims 5-10% of retail spending and isn't just found on sites like Amazon.com. We may be in a transitional phase like when early cars looked like horse carriages. Many current ecommerce websites are just better versions of catalogs. But a new crop (such as Square, Tesco’s QR/subway experiment, Apple’s self check-out) suggests a future where ecommerce is more of  of a “clicks & mortar” experience.

What's the Big Idea?

If your product doesn’t need to be touched or demonstrated and is relatively small, your retail footprint is going to shrink big-time. That may be bad news for retail clerks, but it's very exciting for entrepreneurs because it could become easier to sell products in places that you couldn’t previously.


The Clicks and Mortar of On...

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