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
With rendition switcher


Fredrik Carlstrom: Yeah, I think people are very confused. There’s a lot of confusion about what’s going on, and there’s a lot of grand sort of statements, and this is what’s going on, and this is-- and at the end of the day, you hear-- you read and you hear what people are saying and they’re kind of going, “We come up with a new idea, it’s pre-roll, versus doing it at the end.” I just read something the other day, and the quote was basically this guy saying that they’re experimenting with sort of whatever the video is that you clicked on, you play a little bit of that, and then in the middle-- and his quote was, “We give you a little bit of video before we hit you over the head with the ad.” And I guess my point is people don’t want to get hit over the head, period. And it’s not-- there’s a lot of sort of fancy talk in the technology world about basically finding new ways of interrupting people. And I just don’t that that’s necessarily is the way things are going. To answer your question, which is a tricky one, I mean, in the newspaper world, I see-- and I just did this myself-- I just cancelled my subscriptions in the week, and I’m just getting the weekend editions, because I read everything else online. And then sort of day-to-day news about something, another crane falling on a building in New York City, you kind of don’t have to buy the paper to get that.

Question: What is non-interruptive advertising?

Fredrik Carlstrom: Well, I think kind of advertising has kind of been split up into two things. One is information. And one is entertainment. And I think a car example is a good one, because they spend a lot of money in advertising. And they may be able to do it smarter. You know, if you’re going to buy a car, you probably have a few brands that you would consider, and a few brands that you wouldn’t consider. And then you sort of start looking into the specifics of it. So there’s the entertainment, the brand-building part of it, which makes you like a BMW or a Saab, or whatever it is you’re into. And that’s sort of the longer-term stuff. And then you come into the thing, “Okay, what’s the mileage, what’s the guarantee, what’s the blah-blah-blah,” you know? And the funny thing about the car industry is that they’re still insisting on doing that on national television. They’re doing these sort of price ads in the most expensive media in the world. And then you go on their websites, and they’re kind of crappy, and the funny thing is, they’re spending all that money on advertising and you’re still-- when you’re about to make your decision, you’re still forced to go to Jersey and meet some guy in a bad suit, who has a funny accent, who’s trying to rip you off. And so all the funny ads and all the other stuff is kind of out the window, because Joe in Jersey, who’s like ripping you off with a car, he’s not that branded. I mean, you’re competing for people’s time, and so if I have an hour where I can watch a TV show, or I can watch a film, or I can watch news, or I can watch something that an ad has done, or that a brand has produced, and I don’t think people see a difference. And you know, you need to compete with Saturday Night Live, and you know, whoever.


Recorded on: 6/12/08


Advertising On The Internet

Newsletter: Share: