How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

By John Jantsch

Marketing podcast with Peter Sims (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

True innovators make lots of little bets on ideas and small affordable actions that grow into fully developed discoveries rather that capturing one big aha moment.

That’s the view of this week’s guest on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast – Peter Sims, author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

Based on 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.

This notion seems to be the current view for start ups these days in this put it out there and iterate quickly Internet driven world. Minimum viable products are okay until you learn how to create the real winner.

Really great ideas emerge through lots of little failures.

According to Sims there are methods, such as prototyping and consolidating gains, that can be applied in almost any business. This process includes adding immediate customer feedback to the development road map.

Little Bets is an approach that runs counter to the age old notion of strategic planning and is more about strategic doing that forces you to create knowledge and discover unarticulated problems rather than simply interpret knowledge

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or


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