Monthly Archives: October 2012

Book Review: Little Bets – How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

‘Little Bets’ advises on the value of taking small exploratory steps from which, as the book’s subtitle has it, breakthrough ideas emerge.

This is one man’s roadmap for innovation. The book is an example-rich argument for innovating in a particular way—by deliberately experimenting and taking small exploratory steps in novel directions. Some little bets will not pay off, of course, in which case little is lost; but others may pay off in big ways. The point is that good ideas rarely emerge fully formed; rather they evolve in a discursive and unpredictable fashion. Its claims are often attractive, but the analytical apparatus can be shaky: correlation is confused with causation; counter-evidence is ignored (such as those who put down small bets but never enjoy large returns); the role of circumstance or luck is underestimated; and some facts seem cherry-picked to push the message.

Reference: David A. Shaywitz reviews, Where the Action Is