Taka's Reviews > Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

Little Bets by Peter Sims
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's review
Sep 04, 11

bookshelves: business, iu-fall-2011
Read from August 25 to September 04, 2011

Cool concept, not very detailed--

The book's concepts are all cool and interesting.

The book combines the findings of Carow Dweck (fixed vs. growth mindsets), Eric von Hippel (active users and innovation), Csikszentmihalyi (problem finders vs. problem solvers), Richard Wiseman (being open to experiences increases your luck), and other research and innovations in psychology, economics, and business.

The concept of little bets is basically this: creative things emerge from random, non-linear, unpredictable processes, and so experimenting with something is crucial in coming up with something creative. It is, as Ed Catmull at Pixar says, "going from suck to non-suck." The original idea may suck, but through other people's input, you can make it into something "non-suck," and that takes a lot of openness, playfulness, and determination to fail quickly to learn faster.

Other cool things to be learned from this book include:

-ask if you can afford it, not if you can profit from it
-"smallify" problems and add constraints to boost creativity
-learn little from a lot to increase your luck

But the central problem with this book is that it seems to lack elaboration and applications of the concept of little bets. I was left a little dissatisfied with the contents, though I found the concepts covered very interesting.

Overall, an interesting read that would've been satisfactory with a little more elaboration.
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