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Little Bets Audiobook

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

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Publisher's Summary

What do Apple CEO Steve Jobs, comedian Chris Rock, prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, the story developers at Pixar films, and the Army Chief of Strategic Plans all have in common? Best-selling author Peter Sims found that all of them have achieved breakthrough results by methodically taking small, experimental steps in order to discover and develop new ideas.

Rather than believing they have to start with a big idea or plan a whole project out in advance, trying to foresee the final outcome, they make a series of little bets about what might be a good direction, learning from lots of little failures and from small but highly significant wins that allow them to happen upon unexpected avenues and arrive at extraordinary outcomes.

Based on deep and extensive research, including more than 200 interviews with leading innovators, Sims discovered that productive, creative thinkers and doers---from Ludwig van Beethoven to Thomas Edison and Amazon's Jeff Bezos---practice a key set of simple but ingenious experimental methods, such as failing quickly to learn fast, tapping into the genius of play, and engaging in highly immersed observation, that free their minds, opening them up to making unexpected connections and perceiving invaluable insights. These methods also unshackle them from the constraints of overly analytical thinking and linear problem solving that our education places so much emphasis on, as well as from the fear of failure, all of which thwart so many of us in trying to be more innovative.

©2011 Peter Sims (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (163 )
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4.1 (119 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Daryl Kulak Westerville, OH USA 01-16-12
    Daryl Kulak Westerville, OH USA 01-16-12 Member Since 2015

    The Holistic Business Guy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heard it all Before"
    Any additional comments?

    This isn't a great audiobook. I am from the technology world, so the iterative/incremental approach that the author advocates here is not new to me. I was hoping for a bit more depth, but there are just a few stories about how you should approach things incrementally. I cannot recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tad Davis 08-15-11
    Tad Davis 08-15-11
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    "Useful approach, not for everyone"

    The narrator is a little overenthusiastic, but the principles are sound. Peter Sims applies the idea of "little bets" to a wide variety of situations. Prime examples include Pixar, agile software development, and the military's Iraq counterinsurgency program. The basic idea is to make a series of "little bets" on test projects, aiming to "fail fast" and learn from the experience. Your overall direction will emerge organically from these experiments rather than being imposed top-down. The author considers this approach superior to trying to come up with a grand plan from the beginning. I tend to agree with him; in my own experience, which includes playwriting and software development, working this way is more congenial than the conventional way.

    It's not for everyone, though. I can easily imagine Shakespeare and Homer approaching writing by making a series of "little bets," but I can't picture Dante pulling off "The Divine Comedy" this way. Still, it's worth a listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heath 10-21-11
    Heath 10-21-11

    Nonfiction. Innovation. Technology. Strategy.

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    "Succinctly Summarizes Design Thinking for Business"

    > Clearly states key design thinking principles.
    > Provides clarifying/amplifying examples from innovative and successful companies.
    > Refers to other thinkers on design thinking.

    Well written and well read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 08-14-11
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 08-14-11 Member Since 2010
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    "well paced, good examples of techniqes in action"

    Pretty quick listen of the key success factors involved getting a win in the marketplace. Solid narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Olmsted Falls, OH 04-23-16
    Amazon Customer Olmsted Falls, OH 04-23-16 Member Since 2014

    Self Help Geek

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    "for business people"

    I love this book it was really great. I would say it is along the lines of some of what you might hear in the Lean Startup. But it has even more focus on the trying things out. I have benefited a lot from it and plan to make this a must-read for my company.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aunt Tee Tee 02-28-16
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    "I enjoyed the book."

    A good read and I learned about myself in the process. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Longmont, CO 12-31-15
    George Longmont, CO 12-31-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good, a bit repeatitive"

    Half way thru I got the point, the rest was just recap. Would have liked to hear him go into a few more short examples rather than repeating it, yet it was still good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alejandro Monterrey, Netherlands 03-14-15
    Alejandro Monterrey, Netherlands 03-14-15
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    "Great title, it will make think at high revolution"

    Starts with a lot insightful ideas, by the thirf part of the book I lost the conection of the original idea, bur it has a great ending.. it just makes you mind spind at a very high revolution . -- embrace my typos my phone is crazy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Boulder, CO, United States 09-11-12
    Peter Boulder, CO, United States 09-11-12
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    "Very good, would recommend"
    Where does Little Bets rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very interesting, held my attention, well-performed, I think I got a lot out of this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aditi SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 12-19-11
    Aditi SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 12-19-11
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    "Great content, narration could be better"

    He author distills several success stories down to their agile risk taking abilities, encouraging anyone with an idea to go run with it, give implementing it an honest try, and be open to changing and building on it to deliver a successful product

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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