I love small teams. I wrote this blog a while back talking about why I love them. And I followed it up with this blog about the things that can kill a small team.
Scoble had a blog recently where he interviewed a Google exec and it turns out Google is failing at innovating new technology mainly because they can’t keep their teams small enough. Check this part out in particular:
Google can’t keep its teams small enough. Instagram was started by two guys who rented a table at DogPatchLabs in Pier 38 (the first time I met the Instagr.am team was when Rocky and I did this video on Dogpatch Labs). The exec I was talking with said Google Wave had more than 30 people on the team. He had done his own startup and knew the man-month myth. For every person you add to a team, he said, iteration speed goes down. He told me a story of how Larry Ellison actually got efficiencies from teams. If a team wasn’t productive, he’d come every couple of weeks and say “let me help you out.” What did he do? He took away another person until the team started shipping and stopped having unproductive meetings.
I love that story about Larry Ellison. Smaller teams, the better.
Scoble talks more about it on this Cinch: