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Peter Sims’ Little Bets

by C. Ross Jam on July 18, 2011

Little Bets Cover

Ripped through Peter Sims’ Little Bets. I’ve advanced enough in my career that technical proficiency won’t make or break me. Leveling up involves all that management goop that I’ve disdained in the past. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to get a class to fill in my gaps, so I’ll have to do it myself.

I thought Little Bets would provide some productive insights into the creative process. Little Bets though comes from the Malcolm Gladwell school of popular science. Long on anecdata, short on rigor. How many times can you name drop Chris Rock?

Actually, the book is chock full of references and notes which back up the assertions on the text. Should have picked on the links on the Kindle sooner. Even so, I never felt like I got deep into the practice of little bets. How does one effectively gauge the cost of a small effort or experiment such that it’s cheap enough? What happens if you hit a losing streak on your bets? What’s the difference between little bets and deliberative practice?

For those reasons, I can’t really recommend Little Bets although it’s an easy quick read. On my Kindle 1/3 is taken up by notes and the index, thus the end sneaks up on you real quick. Surprisingly so. Leaving it feeling as substantive as the origami on the cover.

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