Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

by Peter Sims

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Overview

“An enthusiastic, example-rich argument for innovating in a particular way—by deliberately experimenting and taking small exploratory steps in novel directions. Light, bright, and packed with tidy anecdotes” (The Wall Street Journal).

What do Apple CEO Steve Jobs, comedian Chris Rock, prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, and the story developers at Pixar films all have in common? Bestselling author Peter Sims found that rather than start with a big idea or plan a whole project in advance, they make a methodical series of little bets, learning critical information from lots of little failures and from small but significant wins.

Reporting on a fascinating range of research, from the psychology of creative blocks to the influential field of design thinking, Sims offers engaging and illuminating accounts of breakthrough innovators at work, and a whole new way of thinking about how to navigate uncertain situations and unleash our untapped creative powers.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439170434
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 07/16/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 378,406
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Peter Sims is the coauthor with Bill George of the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek bestselling book True North. His work has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and TechCrunch and he is a contributor to the Reuters and Harvard Business Review blogs. He received an M.B.A. from Stanford Business School where he and several classmates established a popular course on leadership. He has spoken or advised at such organizations as Cisco Systems, Eli Lilly, Current Media, Molson Coors, Qualcomm, and Frost & Sullivan. Previously, Peter worked in venture capital with Summit Partners, a leading investment company, and was part of the team that established the firm’s London Office.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Big Bets versus Little Bets 19

2 The Growth Mind-set 35

3 Failing Quickly to Learn Fast 51

4 The Genius of Play 65

5 Problems Axe the New Solutions 77

6 Questions Are the New Answers 97

7 Learning a Little from a Lot 117

8 Learning a Lot from a Little 131

9 Small Wins 141

10 Conclusion 153

Further Readings and Resources 163

Notes 179

In Gratitude 203

Index 205

What People are Saying About This

Alan M. Webber

"'Little Bets' is a big idea. Here's my bet: if you're passionate about innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, you need to read this book!

Chip Heath

“Want a big idea? Start little. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an artist, Peter Sims shows you how big breakthroughs start with little bets.”

Daniel H. Pink

"With examples that range from traditional businesses to stand-up comedians, Peter Sims shows that the path to big success is lined with small failures. Behind every breakthrough idea is often a host of experiments that flopped — and Sims shows how to leverage these "little bets" to produce lasting results. This is a powerful and practical book.

Peter Georgescu

"Little Bets is a timely and compelling book that will change the way you think, a roadmap to success in the 21st century. And, a very enjoyable read.

Wendy Kopp

“I really can't say enough about this book; Little Bets rings so true to my own experience at Teach For America. Peter Sims does a huge service by showing the world how big entrepreneurial and innovative successes come to be — and in the process reveals ways of thinking that aren't the product of anything elusive or enigmatic but rather of traits we can all learn and foster, such as openness, inquisitiveness, and perseverance.”

From the Publisher

"Diverse and uplifting—-a veritable gumball machine of memorable anecdotes to inspire creativity." —-Kirkus

Howard Schultz

"I have always believed that constant innovation is core to success. The methods Peter Sims provides in the highly engaging Little Bets will help you challenge the status quo and discover extraordinary new possibilities in whatever endeavor you're engaged in.

Robert I. Sutton

“Peter Sims buries the myth that big talkers with brains and big ideas move industry and science forward. This modern masterpiece demonstrates that the most powerful and profitable ideas are produced by persistent people who mess with lots of little ideas and keep muddling forward until they get it right. Little Bets is easily the most delightful and useful innovation book published in the last decade.”

Bill George

“Peter Sims’ exciting new book, Little Bets,is replete with stunning insights about innovation and the remarkable benefits of backing many creative initiatives that yield the big breakthrough. Corporate leaders everywhere can benefit from his sound advice.”

Jonah Lehrer

“In Little Bets, Peter Sims convincingly argues that we need a new model of creativity, focused around gradual improvement and constant innovation. If you're not learning while doing, Sims points out, then you're probably doing it wrong.”

Customer Reviews