What are Little Bets?

Click here for an excerpt from “Little Bets.” What is a “little bet”? Little bets are a way to explore and develop new possibilities. Specifically, a little bet is a low-risk action taken to discover, develop, and test an idea. Chris Rock develops new comedy routines by making little bets with small audiences; Amazon’s CEO… continue reading »

What Google Could Learn from Pixar

Google has reached a pivotal moment in its history. What can it do to expand beyond its incredible core business, which is now reaching a more mature phase? For insight on how it can develop, let’s look to Pixar. Pixar is as close to a constant learning organization as there is, with a proven ability… continue reading »

Book Review: Good Boss, Bad Boss

Originally published on It has been damn near impossible to find consistently good and objective insight and analysis from business thought leaders. But Robert I. Sutton, a professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford and the Stanford Institute of Design (where we have overlapped), is an exception. His new book, out now, is… continue reading »

Is Google at Risk of Becoming the Next Microsoft?

Published originally on TechCrunch. In late April, JP Morgan unexpectedly invited me to a “thought leaders dinner” to discuss the latest goings on in Silicon Valley and digital media. In a private room at the San Francisco restaurant Kokkari, there were about 20 of us seated around a long rectangular table, including venture capitalists from… continue reading »

Think Like Chris Rock: Little Bets

Chris Rock has become one of the most popular comedians in the world and, while there is no doubt he’s got great talent, his brilliance also comes from his approach to developing his ideas. The routines he rolls out on his global tours are the output of what he has learned from thousands of “little… continue reading »

The iPhone: How to Design a Great Business Model

Apple’s impressive quarterly earnings report this week, bolstered by iPhone sales, exemplified what has become increasingly clear: Apple has not only designed a highly successful product with its iPhone, the company’s use of design principles have allowed it to build an incredible business model and ecosystem that has even Microsoft admiring it. Steve Balmer, CEO… continue reading »

Leading Innovation Through Methodical Experiments

The Wall Street Journal’s ideas reporter, Pfred Dvorak, wrote a great article describing Best Buy’s experimental forecasting system entitled, “Best Buy Taps ‘Prediction Market’” — an excellent example of how companies are using focused experiments to innovate their internal processes. Anyone interested in innovation should take note. Essentially, Best Buy faces a massive challenge —… continue reading »