Peter Sims is an award-winning author and entrepreneur. His latest book is Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, which grew out of a collaboration with faculty at Stanford's Institute of Design (the d.school), a hub of creative thinking and doing, and his previous work in venture capital with Summit Partners, including as part of the team that established Summit's European Office in London. He was also the coauthor with Bill George of the best-seller True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, is a member of G.E.'s Innovation Advisory Panel, and is a Co-founder and Director of Fuse Corps, a social venture that places entrepreneurial leaders on year-long grassroots projects with mayors and governors to tackle some of America's most pressing problems.
His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Mashable,strategy+business,Tech Crunch, and as an Expert blogger forFast Company. He frequently speaks or advises at corporations, associations, and universities, including Google, Eli Lilly, Pixar, ConAgra, Gap Inc., Cisco Systems, Current TV, Amazon, and Stanford University.
Based on the lessons learned from 125 of the world’s most-respected entrepreneurs and leaders profiled for TRUE NORTH: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, including Charles Schwab, Starbuck’s founder Howard Schultz, CEO of Palm Inc. Donna Dubinsky, Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric, Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, Andrea Jung CEO of Avon Products, and Narayana Murthy of Infosys. Themes include: overcoming life crucibles and setbacks, clarifying personal values and motivations, developing effective support structures, using your life story to motivate and inspire others, approaches for staying grounded, and personal leadership development plans.
Based on extensive research, including over 200 interviews with successful creators and innovators, Sims demonstrates that the kind of linear problem-solving and fear of failure we were conditioned to embrace actively thwarts creativity. Whether it’s Steve Jobs or architect Frank Gehry or the ?braintrust’ at Pixar, there is no complete plan or vision at the outset. Rather, through a process of trying and failing in incremental ways, they gain critical information as they go from one small, experimental step to the next ? which eventually lead to extraordinary breakthroughs. These so-called little bets? helped spark the ideas that led to companies like Twitter and blockbuster movies like the?Toy Story?franchise. We can learn to think and work like those we think of as geniuses ? failing fast to learn quickly, trying imperfect ideas, focusing on finding problems rather than solving them, and practicing highly immersed observation?to turn our own little bets into big successes.