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

The Multiplier Factor of High-Tech Jobs

August 21, 2013, 3:40 PM

The growth and the rise of jobs in the innovation sector matters to all of us whether we work in the innovation sector or we don’t work in the innovation sector.  And the reason is that every time a local community is able to attract an innovation – and innovative employer, like a high tech employer or some other type of employer that generates innovation, he gains not just the jobs, not just the employees of that employer, but it gains many more jobs in the local service sectors that are supported by the jobs in the high-tech employer.  It’s called the multiplier factor.  

My research shows that for each additional job in a high tech company in a local community, you create about five additional jobs outside high-tech in that community.  Jobs like, taxi drivers, hairdressers, waiters, baristas or doctors, lawyers, nurses.  

Take Apple, for example.  Apple has 30,000 workers in Cupertino, okay, but it indirectly supports 70,000 workers outside iTech in the metro area around Cupertino.  So, remarkably, the most important effect that Apple has on the local labor force is not in high tech, it’s outside high tech.  And these jobs are a mix of jobs for people with a lot of education, like the doctors and lawyers and nurses and teachers, as well as those with less education, the waiters, and the taxi drivers and the hairdressers.  

So remarkably, from the point of view of a city, if you’re trying to generate jobs for the least fortunate of your residents, those who might have a high school degree at most, the best thing you can do today is to attract a high tech employer that hires a lot of highly educated employees.  That’s the best way to generate local job growth.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


The Multiplier Factor of Hi...

Newsletter: Share: