We’re taught from an early age to use specific procedures to evaluate and solve problems. These skills work great when we have the right information to put into a formula or a structured plan. But what happens when we don’t even know the problems that we’re trying to solve? In these kinds of situations, we can engage in a process of discovery and make “little bets” along the way… according to Peter Sims.
Sims visited Rapleaf HQ today to speak on the release of his new book, “Little Bets: how breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries,” as part of Rapleaf’s Speaker Series. According to Sims, “Little Bets” are patterns & ways of thinking by experimental thinkers and a low-risk action taken to discover, develop, and test an idea.
Sims’ notion is that many of us today think we need flawless, genius ideas instantaneously–but in reality, we don’t. In fact, “we have to be willing to fail,” says Sims. “Little Bets” goes behind the scenes of some of the greatest achievements and innovations to dig deep and find the common elements that made them successful.
“We all want to make big bets,” says Sims. “That’s a Silicon Valley mantra. Be bold. Go big. But I think ingenious ideas are over-rated and that people routinely bet big on ideas that aren’t solving the right problems.”
Peter Sims is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. With Bill George he co-authored True North, the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best-selling book, and he has previously worked in venture capital with Summit Partners, a leading investment company.
Rapleaf’s Speaker Series features various entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors and other thought leaders in the Silicon Valley, showcasing thought-provoking opinions and discussions on a broad scope of topics. Next to join us in the series is Jeff Clavier, recognized as one of the 13 “Web 2.0 King Makers by business 2.0” on June 20th. If you would like to take part in the Rapleaf Speaker Series as a speaker or participant, email us at, and follow us at #rapleafspeakers for live updates.