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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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Disruptive Technology

The Big Idea for Thursday, March 07, 2013

Business in the 21st century increasingly depends on the ability to market to consumers in the digital, mobile and social realms, and yet, marketing is barely keeping up. The old way of engaging consumers doesn't work any more, if it ever worked in the first place.

This old process is known as the funnel model, which involves a customer learning about a product and walking down a linear path from their to the cash register. Purchasing decisions simply don't happen that way any more. Customers can learn about products at any point. The good news for marketers is that customers can be engaged earlier than ever before. They can also be engaged at a much cheaper price than ever before.

In today's lesson, David Edelman, Partner at McKinsey and Company, argues for a new marketing model for the 21st century, which he calls the "consumer decision journey." 


  1. 1 How You Decide What To Buy Online
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 What Twitter Can Teach You About Your Dysfunctional Business
    Maddie Grant
  3. 3 Everything a Company Does Is "Marketing"
    Jason Fried
  4. 4 Alain de Botton: Imagining Advertisements for Things We Really Need
    Daniel Honan Think Tank

Disruptive Technology

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