Little Bets

Little Bets (2011) by Peter Sims is a short, fairly obvious book about trying things to see what works. It follows a standard sort of business book pattern. A thesis is put forward and then some cases that operate in the way that is being described are given to support it. Sims suggests the ‘revolutionary’ ideas that you can grow and that putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good idea.
Sims looks at Chris Rock, Pixar, Frank Gehry and US counter insurgency in Iraq and suggests that they share a pattern of trying different approaches and seeing what works. In the case of Chris Rock what Sims is suggesting is clearly the case, Rock and many other comedians try out lots of material and see what works and build on it. With Pixar the thesis is stretched, Pixar was always a special effects house and what Sims does not mention is that while making short films they were also at work making commercials. The hardware business was certainly part of the game but Sims twists the facts to make his point.
The book isn’t utterly terrible, but it’s far from great either.


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