#3c: Why do teams break down past a certain size?


Small teams are, in most cases, preferable to large teams. This is in large part due to the web of human interactions that comprise a team.

For a team of three, there are only three possible lines of interaction or intercommunication. With four members, this grows to six lines of interaction, and a five person team must contend with ten relationships to manage. (The number of intercommunication channels against team size n is n(n - 1)/2.) This super-linear growth of interactions — which comprise the essence of a team — becomes increasingly harder to hold in one's head.

At some point, a team can no longer sustain so much intercommunication and so fractures into many sub-teams. This is human nature. We are social creatures, but our society has limits.

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