Once at an Amazon offsite, managers had the reasonable-sounding suggestion that employees should be increasing communication with each other. To their surprise, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos stood up and announced, “No, communication is terrible!”
This stance explains his famous two-pizza team rule, that teams shouldn’t be larger than what two pizzas can feed. More communication isn’t necessarily the solution to communication problems — it’s how it is carried out. Compare the interactions at a small dinner — or pizza — party with a larger gathering like a wedding. As group size grows, you simply can’t have as meaningful of a conversation with every person, which is why people start clumping off into smaller clusters to chat.
For Bezos, small teams make it easier to communicate more effectively rather than more, to stay decentralized and moving fast, and encourage high autonomy and innovation. Here’s the science behind why the two-pizza team rule works.