Little Bets

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

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Take small, concrete actions instead of struggling through big, elaborate plans.

A “little bet" has the advantage of being cheap, quick, and of letting you work your way through uncertainty.

27 March, 2016 19:45 Share

Another great thing about little bets is that even if they go wrong, they allow us to fail swiftly and learn from the outcome. An uncompromising top-down approach can mean a slow-burning, more damaging result.

27 March, 2016 19:45 Share

Develop a growth mind-set and see failure as an opportunity to grow.

While people with a fixed mind-set interpret obstacles as threats, a growth mind-set lets you move forward and maintain your self-esteem, undeterred by failure.

27 March, 2016 19:47 Share

Strive for excellence with healthy perfectionism.

healthy and unhealthy. Healthy perfectionism is internally driven by personal values, such as quality and excellence, and results in contentedness, happiness, and high levels of well-being. In contrast, unhealthy perfectionism is driven by external factors, like worrying about mistakes or parental pressure, and can bring about eating disorders, anxiety and depression.

28 March, 2016 12:28 Share

healthy and unhealthy.

28 March, 2016 12:28 Share

Prototyping is also a smart way to overcome writer’s block. For example, to conquer her fear of the blank page, author Anne Lamott writes “shitty first drafts" to get the ball rolling. This way, she gets something down on the page. She’s rarely happy with the results, but the next day she goes through the text, writes a new lead paragraph, a better ending, or adds improved descriptions. Following this, she rewrites the draft.

29 March, 2016 15:58 Share

Encourage improvisation and you’ll inspire new ideas and insights.

Try creating an environment where playing and improvisation are prioritized and encouraged – not just tolerated.

29 March, 2016 15:58 Share

We now know that a jovial, lighthearted environment often enables the improvisation that unleashes creativity and experimentation.

29 March, 2016 15:58 Share

Paradoxically, certain constraints can also give rise to new ideas.

If you present yourself with too many opportunities and possibilities when an idea is in its early stages, you can cause self-doubt and stress.

29 March, 2016 15:58 Share

Being around diverse people helps you develop new ideas.

the collaboration between diverse and talented groups of people is more likely to produce innovative results than the solo efforts of one individual.

28 March, 2016 16:19 Share

Small wins can blaze a trail to success.

definition of a small win is a “concrete, complete, implemented outcome of moderate importance." These small wins provide us with the signs and guidance we need to proceed in an alternative way.

28 March, 2016 16:22 Share

Final summary

You can use the little bets approach to make rapid progress in your projects. By taking these mini steps, you’ll boost your creativity, act more often, embrace uncertainty and take risks. Taking little bets will allow you to reap the benefits of failing quickly and learning fast.

28 March, 2016 16:23 Share

About the book:

The core principle of Little Bets is taking actions to discover, develop and test new ideas. Little bets start out small, then develop and are refined over time into potentially life-changing actions. Particularly valuable in times of uncertainty, small actions are cheap, low-risk and quickly put into practice, and are therefore massively helpful when undertaking any project.

About the author:

Peter Sims is the co-author of the bestselling True North, which was deemed one of the best entrepreneurial advice books by the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek. His work has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Fortune and TechCrunch, and he is a contributor to Reuters and Harvard Business Review blogs. He has spoken or advised at such organizations as Cisco Systems, Eli Lilly, Current Media, Molson Coors, Qualcomm and Frost & Sullivan.

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