Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

Peter Sims

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1439170436

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“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.















means that Pixar needed to accomplish Catmull’s vision. As Price learned, “It was the quality of this body of work, rather than old-boy connections or an isolated break, that had made Pixar the front runner once Disney became interested in the medium [computer animation].” Pixar had finally gained enough storytelling, technology, and animation means, as well as the necessary insight into the problems they wanted to solve. Determining what he can afford to lose is also what Chris Rock does when

Rospars recalls, “we had to figure out along the way, what was text messaging good for?” They ended up sending hundreds of thousands of targeted messages to get supporters to campaign events, register to vote, or communicate other key messages. Similarly, online videos ultimately became a large part of the new media effort. By the end of the campaign, nearly 2,000 YouTube videos were viewed more than 80 million times. As Rospar puts it, “You learn from your mistakes as you go.” The same is true

that article, the authors Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka described best practices in new product development at places like Honda, Canon, and Fuji. As Sutherland recalls, “We looked at the way they set up their teams and we set up ours in exactly the same way.” Takeuchi and Nonaka compared the way Japanese product development teams organized themselves with the way a rugby team might drive down the field in a scrum formation, passing the ball back and forth to the right person for each

collections. That’s not to say that the parents of highly successful creative types don’t have high expectations for their kids. They do. But, as with John Lasseter, John Legend, or Kevin Brereton, their parents tend to support their kids’ natural pursuits, while also stressing work ethic and quality. These patterns, ironically enough, the back to Carol Dweck’s findings on fixed versus growth mind-sets; fostering a questioning mind is also fostering one that is predisposed to a growth

109 Lafley, A. G., 62–63, 64, 107, 114 The Game-Changer, 174 Lamott, Anne, 53–54 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, 53, 164, 190 Landmarks, 141 Lasseter, John, 30, 31, 41, 42, 44, 73, 75, 76, 115, 143–46, 148–49, 186–87 Latifee, H. I., 99, 101 Lead users, 133–40 Legend, John, 109, 115, 134 Lehrer, Jonah, 66 Leibovitz, Annie, 126 Letterman, David, 3 Liker, Jeffrey, The Toyota Way, 167 Limb, Charles, 65–67 Lincoln Center, New york, 79, 80 Listening, 97–116 Little

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