A New Take on Innovation

April 27, 2011


Mentored by David Kelley of the d. school at Stanford University, author Sims pursues his methodology to build solutions in incremental steps through what he calls “little bets.” Using experimentation as the foundation of his method, he suggests that solutions emerge from a process of defining specific problems and needs. Rather than focusing on the ultimate solution, he suggests that smaller successes derived from solving smaller problems will lead to much bigger successes and solutions. “Iterate: repeat, refine, and test frequently armed with better insights, information and assumptions as time goes on.” Using examples from Pixar, HP, Agilent, Amazon, Chris Rock and Google, to name a few, Sims supports his conviction that experimental innovation is what leads to the biggest and best success stories. Failure is a given in the path to success and is used to forms an important part of the learning process. He concludes the book with an interesting selection of additional resources including educational studies, mixed media sources and an interesting collection of both academic and popular literary works.

*Sims, P. 2011. Little bets: How breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster First Free Press.

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