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 Upside of Down: Why Failing Well is the Key to Success

February 21, 2014, 12:00 AM

Most businesses fail. Most products fail. Most relationships fail. Derek Jeter, one of the greatest baseball players of his generation, failed to get a hit 68.8 percent of the time. 

How is it that humans have been such a successful species if our endeavors are so defined by failure?

Luckily for us, we are incredibly resilient. 

To stick with the baseball analogy, everybody strikes out. The key is to maintain your composure, step back up to the plate the next time at bat and hit a home run. As Bill Gates, unquestionably one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs has said, "it’s fine to celebrate success, but more important are the lessons of failure." In the startup world, entrepreneurs are taught to fail quickly, learn and move on. We all get advice, but it’s life experience and usually failure that teaches us the bigger lessons.

In this week's Specific Gravity interview, former Atlantic and now Bloomberg journalist Megan McArdle explains in The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success that if you want to succeed in the business of life, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure.

Listen to the podcast here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


The Upside of Down: Why Fai...

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