An award-winning author and entrepreneur. His latest book is Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, selected as a one of the six best advice books for entrepreneurs by The Wall Street Journal and as one of the best business books of the year by The Washington Post, Inc. Magazine, and AmEx OPEN and he was the coauthor with Bill George of True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, which was a Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best-seller.
Peter Sims is an award-winning author and entrepreneur. His latest book is Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, selected as a one of the six best advice books for entrepreneurs by The Wall Street Journal and as one of the best business books of the year by The Washington Post, Inc. Magazine, and AmEx OPEN and he was the coauthor with Bill George of True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, which was a Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best-seller.
Sims has had a long collaboration with faculty at Stanford’s Institute of Design (the d.school), and received an M.B.A. from Stanford Business School where he established a popular class. Previously, he worked in venture capital with Summit Partners, including as part of the team that established Summit’s European Office in London. He was a member of General Electric’s Innovation Advisory Panel, an Innosight Fellow, and cofounder 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, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and TechCrunch. He frequently speaks or advises at corporations, associations, and universities.
A graduate of Bowdoin College, he lives in San Francisco, and his great-great-great grandfather, Jacob Gundlach, founded Gundlach Bundschu (GunBun) in Sonoma, California’s oldest family-owned winery, which is run today by his cousins who, unlike Peter, actually know a lot about wine.
Peter speaks with corporate, association, and nonprofit audiences around the world. Recent events include World of Business Ideas (WOBI) on Innovation 2014, RSA Conference 2014, Procter & Gamble (World Design Meeting & Global R&D Annual Leadership meeting), Xerox PARC, Google (HQ in Mountain View, California & London Campus), Social Good Brasil, the Housewares Association, Mashable/United Nations Social Good Summit, The Economist: The Ideas Economy, the United Film & Video Association, Genentech, the Barranquilla, Colombia Chamber of Commerce Annual Summit, as well as at Pixar, General Mills, AT&T, Clorox, The Council of Foundations, and Amazon.
What do Thomas Edison, Chris Rock, and Jeff Bezos all have in common?Answer: An understanding that the biggest ideas spring forth from a series of small discoveries, reworked to achieve a great result.
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.
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. Click here for a Harvard Business Review article summary.
"A powerful and practical book."
— Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind and Drive
“Peter has a natural ability to connect with his audience through his experience and passion. He was great to work with, and we had standing room only at our speaking event!”
-- Eli Lilly
"Highly engaging... Will help you challenge the status quo and discover extraordinary new possibilities in whatever endeavor."
— Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO, Starbucks
"Little Bets is easily the most delightful and useful innovation book published in the last decade."
— Robert I. Sutton, Professor, Stanford University, New York Times bestselling author of Good Boss, Bad Boss
Future 360- Peter Sims