Marginal gains and Long shots

Edit – I have replaced the BBC’s embeddable player (as it doesn’t play nicely with tablets), with a similar version of the talk that Harford did for Wired 2012. The BBC version of the video is here.

Audio of the BBC version:

Tim Harford is also known as The Undercover Economist. More recently, he has started broadcasting on BBC Radio 4, with the program More or Less. Even more recently, he’s started doing “Pop-up economics” talks. The video that you see above is of his recent talk, Hotpants vs The Knockout Mouse, in which he talks about innovation in terms of  “marginal gains”, demonstrated by the British Cycling Team at the 2012 Olympics, and the “long shot”, demonstrated by the work of Nobel Prize winning molecular geneticist, Mario Capecchi.

I think it’s an interesting, and pithy talk, whose lessons can be translated to the way we apply continuous improvement, and innovation. What do you think?

The talk is also available as a podcast