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


Question: What has Steve Jobs’ impact been on Apple?

Frank Rose: What happened was he had started—Jobs had started his own computer company—called NeXT. The hardware wasn’t terribly successful, but the software was quite good, and Apple was in the position where it desperately needed software so they brought—Apple bought—Jobs’s company and brought Jobs in as a sort of an adviser. Within a few months the CEO was fired and Jobs kind of stepped into the bridge and for a while acted as interim CEO, he reorganized the board, eventually, obviously, became the permanent CEO. But, along the way he radically reorganized the company. He put into practice many of the ideas that he had wanted to put into practice in the mid-80s, when he and Sculley were having their problems with one another. And within, literally, a period of months the company became profitable again and began to capture people’s imaginations with an innovative and very compelling, very sexy, series of products; starting with revamped max and ultimately continuing into the iPod and then, most recently, the iPhone. And dramatically successful marketing: suddenly Apple became cool to have—it became the cool thing to have—and at the same time it also had the kind of manufacturing discipline and the disciple in terms of product lines that. It began to send a clear message and it began to execute really well on its plans and that’s why it’s been so successful.

Recorded on: May 21, 2009

More from the Big Idea for Wednesday, January 19 2011


Frank Rose on Apple Under S...

Newsletter: Share: