: New: Book Report: Little Bets

If you run a business that's supposed to be innovative, you must take risks. To succeed long-term, you must take many small risks; recognize which gambles work out and which don't; and then push further in the places that are working. "Launch and iterate". This book is by someone who's still coming to grips with launch and iterate. I didn't get much out of it, but I've been soaking in this stuff for a while. If I was coming from a more staid industry and wanted to learn how these wacky software companies operate, I might use this book.

The author talked with an HP senior exec about HP's downfall: concentrating only on markets with potential to be "billion-dollar markets". Barnholt: "Around that time, people said, 'We don't even want to look at opportunities unless it was going to be a billion dollar business... The reason they all failed and the reason they were big is that someone was already there."

The book discusses launching before you've come to love an idea:

If we haven't invested much in developing an idea, emotionally or in terms of time or resources, then we are more likely to be able to focus on what we can learn from that effort than on what we've lost in making it.

Prototypes, mockups, these are all good things.

Tags: book priorities

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