Mikki Larner

Mikki Larner
Vice President Sales & Marketing
Belmont, CA

Editorial March 2013

I just attended Peter Sims’s though provoking presentation, “Little bets and black sheep:  the revolution will be improvised.”  I highly recommend viewing the presentation on line.  It can be accessed via http://www.parc.com/events/forum.html.  If you are not familiar with the *FREE* PARC speaker series, register.  They are TED style talks that are 100% accessible either in person at thePalo Alto facility or via the web.  I typically view live, on-line via the Justin-TV feed.

Watch it and stay for the Q&A.   Excellent questions from our peers, about how to take the reality of what many face in large corporations and integrate with his ideas (that on paper everyone wants, but when it comes down to business, often not supported).

His main message is that investing in many small ideas may yield a higher success rate and less failure than researching and investing in one big “bet.”  It is a new telling of don’t put all your eggs in one basket:  diversify.   Learning from the failures of these small “bets” mitigates risk from one big failure.

100 small bets = 6 % success rate.

Peter writes:

“Bill Hewlett, an ardent proponent of small bets, estimated that HP would have to make about 100 small bets to get to six breakthrough ideas. Writers for the humor publication the Onion, meanwhile, estimate that to discover eighteen headlines each week requires trying about 600 possibilities, a 3 percent success rate. You learn from each little bet, so it’s hard to quantify success or failure in black and white percentage terms, but the point is, if you want to do something new, you can’t expect your first little bet to become a breakthrough. It’s a volume and iteration game. The best entrepreneurs I’ve known think of learning the way most people think of failure.”

As it relates to our plasma development programs, don’t expect that the first process out the gate will work.  Give it your “best shot” isn’t going to yield success, unless you are just super lucky.  And with the year of the Black Water Snake, need to have a lucky element of “Water” to obtain fortune this year!  If you are a fire sign, not such a lucky year for you.  Ensure this year that you invest in multiple small facilities for storage of your firecrackers versus just one.

This is the extent of my fortune telling!  Back to R&D and scientific methods.

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