WOBI contributing editor Forrest Jones caught up with Peter Sims before WOBI on Innovation for a quick Q&A session prior to his presentation at the forum that will take place on June 4-5.
1. --You've found that rather than starting with big ideas or planning a project in advance, successful entrepreneurs make a methodical series of "little bets." What is a "little bet" and how does it work?
A little bet is a low-risk experiment taken to discover, develop, and test an idea. Amazon’s offerings, Pixar’s films, the design for a Frank Gehry building are all the result of countless little bets, guided by a sense of mission, just as Chris Rock develops new comedy routines by making little bets with small audiences. The outcomes are unpredictable, yet the discovery mindset can be learned. Little bets are at the center of an approach to get to the right idea that any of us can learn without getting stymied by perfectionism, risk-aversion, or excessive planning.
1. -Your book The First Mile focuses on that critical moment when an innovator turns an idea into reality. How important are the embryonic stages of a business venture to longer-term success or failure?
Absolutely critical. I think Thomas Edison probably put it best when he said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Many businesses never get to the first mile – they stay stuck in the head of the would-be innovator. The vast majority of those that do fail. The decisions an innovator makes when they take that step from paper to reality can make all the difference.
WOBI contributing editor Forrest Jones caught up with Vivek Wadhwa before WOBI on Innovation for a quick Q&A session prior to his presentation at the forum that will take place on June 4-5.
Name one or more industries you predict will cease to exist in the near future due to disruption. Any surprises?
It is not that industries will disappear—they will transform. The current leaders will not likely remain in their positions. Practically every industry that is affected by technology will be impacted.
Take manufacturing. It already is cheaper to manufacture in the US using robots than in China. Manufacturing is trickling back to the US already. Later in the decade, the trickle will become a flood. This will impact many other industries.
Finance will be impacted as technology disintermediates the middlemen—the banks and bankers; transportation will be impacted by self-driving cars and drones; education will be impacted when digital tutors put the MOOCs out of business; and our doctors will face competition by their smarter and more informed digital equivalents.