Monday, January 23, 2012

Little bets

Just finished reading Little Bets, by author Peter Sims. A very nice book about the process of innovating through making small investments in time and effort towards large goals. The book is an easy read and I found it quite inspiring with it's examples from companies like Google and Pixar. I liked some of the nuggets of information about entrepreneurial thinking and how these personality types think and take risk. I also liked the stories of how Pixar took risks early on and didn't even start out as a film production company but actually produced hardware. The animated shorts were originally used to sell the hardware and software they produced. If it wasn't for little bets and the ambitions of the Pixar team to keep pushing for full length animated films then who knows what might never have been. Of course equally Steve Jobs' investment in Pixar was a little bet by him in the domain of 3D graphics, and that certainly turned out well. The rest of course is history.

There are some nice references to the work by Carol Dweck on growth mindset versus fixed minds, that was encouraging and insightful about how your mind affects how you perform, I have written a brief post on this already here that I recommend checking out. What is clear from the book is that making little investments towards anything is going to eventually with enough time and focus in the right direction yield results. I think the book is nicely written and makes you want to find ways to apply it to your daily life. I have always liked the quote from Louis Pasteur, that opportunity favors the prepared mind, well this adds an little twist to that concept that good ideas favor little bets.

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