Little Bets

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  1. Good and short book on how little bets allow you to take small risks with the possibility of finding big, unmet opportunities
Key Takeaways
  1. Chris Rock has become insanely successful by not being afraid to take thousands of little bets with little to no consequence and learning from them. Slowly but surely refining his routine
  2. Most successful entrepreneurs do not begin with a brilliant idea, they discover them (Google, Amazon)
  3. The experimental, iterative, little bets framework allows you to approach problems in a non-linear and creative fashion
  4. When we can’t know the consequences, little bets can give you valuable insight with little risk
  5. Successful people tend to think of learning as most people think of failure
  6. Entrepreneurs don’t try to avoid errors or surprises, they seek to learn from them. Uses the cook vs. chef analogy that the last Wait but Why? article used
  7. Stanford’s design school (D school) focuses on creative thinking which arrives at a solution via tinkering versus having a goal and specific steps to reach it
  8. The most successful teams are analytic, rigorous and pragmatic but do not follow a formula that can be followed
  9. The little bets approach focuses more on how much you can lose rather than what your upside is
  10. Great successes welcome failure as they learn from them and persevere through many failures Because know they will learn a lot, especially when first formulating ideas. Of course, failing not the key but rather systematically learning from the failures 
  11. Growth mindset over fixed vital (if work hard can learn and improve). Pixar an ideal example as they are afraid of complacency, extremely open and always looking to learn
  12. “Healthy insecurity” a common feeling for secure and successful people
  13. Perfectionism can be healthy or unhealthy depending on if you’re seeking excellence for self or for others’ approval
  14. Prototyping, getting something out no matter how bad you think it is, is a great learning opportunity 
  15. Often have to improvise and the good to know improv principles – accept every offer (“yes, and…”), make your partner look good, Don’t provide overly specific feedback but motivate and explain where you’re coming from
  16. Trust and humor are closely linked
  17. Working with constraints often very helpful and often begins by breaking a large project down into small and manageable pieces
  18. Asking the right questions the most important thing today. Must go deep, wide and be focused to discover what the right questions are
  19. Mohandas Yunus started the micro finance industry with Grameen bank and did so not by having a grand vision but by solving not a problem directly in front of him – people dying because could not loan $1 without absurd interest rates
  20. Inquisitiveness and observation of details, body language, etc very important for innovation
  21. Creativity is simply connecting things
  22. Best investors tend to be contrarian and get out into the world to learn first hand
  23. Bezos ability to ask “why not” more than “why” is  one of his greatest gifts
  24. Learn a little bit from a lot of people.  Have to be open to meeting, interacting and learning from novel situations and people
    1. Being lucky, in the right place at the right time more about being in the right frame of mind
  25. Be aware of and celebrate small wins
Why I got out of it
  1. Keep tinkering and you might stumble upon some unmet need or opportunity, look forward to failure to learn, learn a little from a lot of sources, focus on how much you can lose vs. what the upside is, little bets let you take little risk and potentially big rewards by finding new opportunities

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