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Peter Sims    

Entrepreneur & Best-selling Author; Known for "Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries"

Peter Sims is a best-selling author and the founder & CEO of BLK SHP, Inc. — a place and platform for making small bets, forging co-conspiracies, and building new ventures. He is also an Adviser at (Google) X, Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory.

His book Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, was 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 and Inc. Magazine. He was the coauthor with Bill George of True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, which was a Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best-seller.

Previously, he worked in venture capital, including as the co-founder of Summit Partners’ European Office in London.

Peter was a co-founder of Giving Tuesday, an international charity movement and day of giving, that raised over $1 billion for social good causes in 2018. He was also the co-founder of FUSE corps, considered the White House Fellowship for city government, that contributes over 100,000 hours of public service annually.

He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Stanford Business School, and studied design thinking at Stanford’s Institute of Design (the d.school).

Peter is the also founder of the BLK SHP Foundation, a global community of creative misfits that seeks to unlock the inner artist in everyone, recognizing that no one does that alone.

As a sixth generation Northern Californian, 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.

Speech Topics


Little Bets

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 its 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 observationto turn our own little bets into big successes.

Authentic Leadership

Based on the lessons learned from 125 of the worlds most-respected entrepreneurs and leaders profiled for TRUE NORTH: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, including Charles Schwab, Starbucks 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.

News


The Little Nudges That Would Make Even Churchill Proud - Forbes

This article is by Peter Sims, author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, coauthor with Bill George of True North: Discover ...

Why we need more laughter in the workplace

As entrepreneur Peter Sims wrote in his 2011 book Little Bets, “A playful, lighthearted, and humorous environment is especially helpful when ideas are incubating and newly hatched, the phase when they are most vulnerable to being snuffed out or even expressed because of being judged or self-censored.”

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